USPTO Fee Change on March 19

By Dennis Crouch

On March 19, the USPTO’s new fee structure becomes effective. Some fees are going down, others are going up. “Micro entities” will likely wait until tomorrow to take action in their cases because of the new micro entity fee that is a 75% reduction of standard fees. Folks filing on post issuance reexamination or review will also wait one day for substantial savings.

  • Filing Application (Filing + Search + Examination Fees): $1,600 up from $1,260.
  • Additional claims: $80 for each additional claim; $420 for each additional independent claim. This is up from $62 and $250 respectively.
  • Issue fee: $1,780 up from $1,770.
  • Maintenance (renewal) fees:
    • Due at 3.5 years: $1,600 up from $1,150.
    • Due at 7.5 years: $3,600 up from $2,900.
    • Due at 11.5 years: $7,400 up from $4,810.
  • Request for Continued Examination:
    • First Request: $1,200 up from $930.
    • Second or Subsequent Request: $1,700 up from $930.
  • Request for Prioritized Examination: $4,000 down from $4,800.
  • Appeals:
    • Notice of Appeal: $800 up from $630.
    • Brief in Support of Appeal: $0 down from $630.
    • Forwarding Appeal to the Board: $2,000 up from $0. (Essentially, the PTO has pushed-back and increased the payment).
    • Requesting Oral Hearing: $1,300 up from $1,260.
  • Extension fees:
    • One Month: 200 up from $150.
    • Two Months: $600 up from $570.
    • Three Months: $1,400 up from $1,290.
    • Four Months: $2,200 up from $2,010.
    • Five Months: $3000 up from $2,730.
  • Post-Grant Proceedings:
    • Request for ex parte reexamination: $12,000 down from $17,750.
    • Supplemental Examination: $16,500 with $12,100 refunded if no reexamination is ordered. This is down from $21,260 with $16,120 refundable.
    • Petition for Inter Partes Review: $23,000 with $14,000 refunded if petition is denied. This is down from $27,200 with no refund.
    • Petition for Post Grant Review: $30,000 with $18,000 refunded if petition is denied. This is down from $35,800 with no refund.
  • Provisional Applications: $260 up from $250.
  • Design Patents:
    • Filing (Filing + Search + Examination Fees): $760 up from $530. (Updated to fix prior typo)
    • Issue: No change at $1,020.

New fee regime: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/qs/ope/fee031913.htm

Obviously patent applicants are impacted by costs just like any other market participant. And, PTO fees appear to akin normal goods in that an increase in price will result in a decrease in the quantity demanded (and vice-versa). However, I also suggest (without too much proof) that most USPTO fees are still fairly inelastic. What this means for the bottom line is that the increase in fees will result in increased revenue for the PTO and that most patent applicants will need to increase their budgets accordingly.

41 thoughts on “USPTO Fee Change on March 19

  1. I agree.

    I’m not against giving the examiner some skin in the game… but it has to go BOTH ways. Lose cash if they’re wrong, win if they’re right.

  2. Yes.

    (sigh) yet another who partakes in that lame tactic.

    How about actually addressing the points I raised, “sensible” inventor? Or don’t you feel that understanding the purpose of patent law matters now that you have yours and you don’t want others to have patents too?

  3. 35 USC 123 governs micro entity status and I don’t see a time limit or a time period for asserting micro entity status.

  4. I get the sense that you really believe that somehow that make you more equal than others who also invent and then (fully legally) use their patent as property, and perhaps alienate it (again, fully legally).

    It only makes you look all the more f001ish in your “I’ve got mine, now close the doors” mentaliy, that you haven’t the faintest idea that patent su was breeds more (not less) patents. Calling others names while you bask in ignorance is no way to go through life, son.

    I suggest that you contemplate the nature of “promote,” rather than indulging in your Be@vis pull-up-the-ladder-after-you’ve-climbed-it self indulgence.

    Thanks.

  5. I realize there’s little point in arguing with a poo-flinger like yourself, but the simple fact is that some of us actually practice the things we invent and therefore have to deal with not only getting our own patents but also evaluating (and sometimes defending against) those of others. I would much prefer quality over quantity.

  6. “I also suggest (without too much proof) that most USPTO fees are still fairly inelastic.”

    It sure seems that way. Fees keep going up, but the number of filings continues to increase, even in a down economy. Maybe it’s time to start jacking up the fees by 50% every year until we see a decrease in filings. 250k patents granted per year is too many anyway.

  7. Why should you? You paid the fees. But suppose you’re missing the oath/declaration, and you file that tomorrow. then you have to pay for that at the new rate.

  8. If the law says

    Feel free to point me to that.

    Absent that, please re read my post at 11:37 AM.

    Thanks.

    (in other words, if I am incorrect, I have no problem admitting it – but right now, you seem to be flailing)

  9. It is easy to get confused as to which of the various filing/search/exam fees to use as it’s all “squished” together; if you’re farsighted like I now am, it’s even worse, unless you “zoom” out on the computer screen.

  10. Of course it “reaches.” If the law says, micro-entity status is only applicable to applications filed after March 15, 2013, as does new 102, then that would be the rule.

    Can you point to the new law or regulation that clearly indicates micro entity status is available retroactively to applications filed before and pending on March 16, 2013 or some other date?

    What about retroactively, via refund, on issued or abandoned applications?

  11. Doesn’t discriminating against large entities violate the due process clause of the constitution?

    /patent t–bagger off

  12. If the enticement of a bonus for being affirmed would reduce the 75% of applications that are pre-appealed and/or briefed from being re-opened, this would be an excellent suggestion.

  13. You are behind the times. The AIA authorized rule making and costs based on policy and goals of the PTO.

  14. Dennis (or anyone) — what’s the difference(s) between:

    Inter partes review request fee (Up to 20 claims) and
    Inter partes review post-institution fee (Up to 15 claims);

    and the similarly-differentiated:

    Post-grant or covered business method review request fee (Up to 20 claims) and
    Post-grant or covered business method review post-institution fee (Up to 15 claims)?

    What does “post institution” mean?

    And why are the per claim fees different?

    Thank you.

  15. Sorry – that does not reach.

    Can you change entity status prior to AIA? (yes)

    Was there any change in the law induced by AIA that prevents changing of entity status? (no)

    Les, are you telling me you have not scrutinized the new law yet?

  16. Is the math on the design application right?

    Filing fee: $180
    Search fee: $120
    Examination fee: $460
    ——————
    Design application: $760 (not $1,020) (I think the Utility Examination Fee was used by mistake)

  17. Can anyone tell me what happens in this situation: We have a missing parts with filing fees due + some other informalities (e.g., new drawings needed, etc.) What if we just pay the filing fees today but are not able to respond to the rest of the formalities today. When we do respond to the Notice in full, do we owe the increase in filing fees?

  18. I saw something about this posted by PTO. I forget the details, but the upshot was, the forwarding fee would be waved….

  19. Well, the why not, if there were one, would be similar to the reason why new 102 only applies the applications filed after March 15, 2013…

  20. I agree, rejections need to be taken more seriously. We need financial penalties against examienrs who get overturned on appeal, and a lesser penalty for examiners who re-open before the appeal is taken up.

  21. Let’s not foget that a caveat exists for all these fees increases – the net fees stil lmust balance the projected budget in the aggregate.

    No one has yet explained how this is going to happen when both user fees during prosecution AND maintenance fees post-prosecution (and what cost drivers be there…?) have gone up.

    Granted you now have micro entities and reduced fees for those, but that’s not a serious response to the balancing that must happen.

    Another wrinkle to consider: the USPTO budget and (any possible) sequester.

    If a sequester fully hits, will the fees be reduced the expected 5%?

  22. does anyone know how the new fee arrangement for appeals will work for paid Appeal Briefs already filed, but have not yet been forwarded to the Board?

    Eg, We filed an Appeal Brief in April 2012, and have yet to receive a decision from the pre-appeal panel review after we contacted the PTO back in November 2012 re status.

  23. Look at the big jump for 2nd RCEs and appeals! Guess you better start taking my rejections seriously, suckas!

  24. “Design Patents:

    Filing (Filing + Search + Examination Fees): $1,020 up from $530″

    LOL. These aren’t even looked at. I guess the price of ink for their rubber stamps went up?

  25. Ahmen!

    Moreover, the fee for placing already found allowabled dependent claims in independent form should be zero as well.

    It is criminal that we are charged excess claim fees for placing already found allowabled dependent claims in independent form.

  26. RE: Micro -entity

    Can one assert micro-entity status in an still pending application filed before March 16, 2013? Filed before any other AIA date?

  27. Regarding the excess claim fees, considering that the PTO’s fees are supposed to be based on costs for their services, the excess claim fees should be precisely zero. The PTO allots zero additional time for examination of those excess claims, thereby incurring zero additional cost.

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