First Change: 15% Fee Increase

Most of the provisions of the Leahy-Smith Act will take some time to be effective. Thus, for instance, the first-to-file regime will only apply to patent applications with an “effective filing date” that is 18-months from enactment.

One provision that will have an almost immediate effect is the 15% surcharge on USPTO fees as does the new $4,800 option for prioritized examination. Those provisions state that they “shall take effect on the date that is 10 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.” The new micro entity status (75% reduction in fees) appears to be poised to begin upon enactment.

27 thoughts on “First Change: 15% Fee Increase

  1. 27

    Can we have some clarity on “The new micro entity status (75% reduction in fees) appears to be poised to begin upon enactment” as well?

    I do not undersand the legal effect of “poised to begin.”

  2. 26

    Apologies for bringing the thread back from the philosophical and intellectual, to the base practicalities of money, but can anyone guide me here – USPTO website certainly cannot, at least not yet

    1) Is the 15% surcharge on every fee including maintenance?

    2) Normally maintenance can be paid up to 6 months in advance thereby avoiding price increases; I’ve done this routinely in the past, although the increase is usually less and the window of opportunity much longer than 10 days

    3) Does the fact that that this is a “Surcharge” as opposed to a regular fee increase have any significance. Is there a nuance to the term “surcharge” that I may overlooking? If I pay in advance at the old price can they can then ask me later to pay the surcharge?

    Any direction would be appreciated – including the correct part of the USPTO.


  3. 25

    what part of stupidity dont they understand. there already shutting out the indegent inventor stoping human advancement with the present legal costs and inability to sell the patents now they want to raise rates for accelerated issues to what for indegents. What about illness accelerations They need to get the inventors money back from the general fund coffers

  4. 22

    (2) EFFECTIVE DATE AND TERMINATION OF SURCHARGE.—The surcharge provided for in paragraph (1)—
    (A) shall take effect on the date that is 10 days after the date of the enactment of this Act; and
    (B) shall terminate, with respect to a fee to which paragraph (1)(A) applies, on the effective date of the setting or adjustment of that fee pursuant to the exercise of the authority under section 10 for the first time with respect to that fee

  5. 19

    Well, I do believe that to be the easiest way.

    link to of MPEP in Paper Form and Other

    Apparently the office doesn’t handle selling paper copies, idk who does.

    link to

    That guy says you can get one for 80$ at west publishing, but that one won’t come with this sweet binding and and nice section dividers etc. Not to even mention that West publishing seems kind of shifty. I’ll even sign the lost copy and then you can have “6’s copy of the MPEP” resale on ebay will probably be for a couple hundred grand in a few decades.

  6. 17

    I think it has been added to the budget yearly:

    President’s Proposed Budget Calls for USPTO Staffing and Fee Increases, Pendency Reduction
    Monday, February 14th, 2011
    From Janal Kalis, Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A.:

    President Obama released his proposed budget for 2012. The new Budget would allow the USPTO “full access to its fee collections” and for a “temporary” but major fee surcharge. The proposed budget would include a 1.4% increase in fees based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase and a 15% surcharge on patent fees. The projected collections for FY2012 would jump to $2.71 billion ($2,700,000,000.00), a 16% increase of FY2011 and a 34% increase of FY2010 spending.

    The 2010-2012 increase works out to a little over $100,000 extra per examiner. Examiners should not, however, expect raises.

    The increased budget is intended to help cut “the average overall processing time of a patent application from 35 months to 20 months by 2015″ by hiring 1,500 new patent examiners and to implement a “much-needed 21st century information technology (IT) system” for the USPTO.

  7. 14

    “fees will eventually become completely disconnected from cost-of-service ”

    Well of course, they’ll become completely connected to cost-of-service + cost of congress taxing innovation silly. Just as congress intends 🙂

  8. 11

    Dennis, please replace your, “wills” with “would if passed,” or at least, “would.”

    It’s not right, fair–or editorially correct–to post as if this act; or any act, law, rule, etc. for that matter; has passed or is otherwise legally in force if and until it is.

  9. 10

    Anyone reviewed the bill to determine whether the 15% surcharge applies to fees in applications filed prior to the effective date?

  10. 5

    Is there a proposed calendar for publishing a new edition of the MPEP reflecting the changes?

    BTW, where can I get a paper copy of the MPEP? I haven’t tried yet the GPO. The PDF version is something like 3000 pages long, the paper version must be a monster. Assembling the parts together and printing it myself would be a big job, even though I could leave out some material, such as the full copy of the PCT. I understand that third parties have published a more manageable version, but can’t find it. Any recommendations?

  11. 4

    Fee diversion will subject USPTO fee-setting authority to perverse incentives. The USPTO fee-setting authority is based on the USPTO’s ability to collect fees for services equal to the costs of the services. Seeing that some XX% of collected fees will be diverted away by Congress, the USPTO will just jack up fees by at least that percentage. Despite congressional oversight and the Advisory Committee, fees will eventually become completely disconnected from cost-of-service and only serve the purpose of limiting applications and other service requests on the USPTO, because this will be the only way for the USPTO to balance costs of service and non-diverted fees.

  12. 3

    Can you articulate a likely chain of events that will lead to the AIA not becoming law this week?

  13. 1

    Yes, let’s make it even more expensive for person/groups of limited means to seek the benefits accorded by Title 35.

    If the fees are raised sufficiently, I can only imagine the positive effect they will have on promoting the progess of the useful arts, with “arts” being those that the judiciary deem worthy of passing through the 101 “door”.

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