USPTO Collected over $3 billion in user fees in FY2015. That figure was below budget. Spending limit is around $3.5 billion, but is limited by revenue. As a benchmark, in FY2010 USPTO collected $2.1 billion in revenue.
USPTO is proposing increase in fees
Ex parte prosecution: filing fee up $120 (filing+search+exam) to $1,720; Independent claims (more than three) up $40 to $460; RCE up $300 to $1,500 or $2,000 for 2nd+ RCE; late IDS – $300 after First Action; $600 after Notice of Allowance; Notice of Appeal – up $200 to $1,000; Appeal – up $500 to $2,500; However, no proposed increase in maintenance fees or extension-of-time fees.
Post Grant: Inter partes review up $7,500 to $30,500 (request + institution fee); Decrease in fee – reduced fee for reexaminations with <45 pages.
Median first action pendency is now 17-months.
Design patent filings continue to steadily rise – as does the backlog of unexamined design patent applications.
USPTO Ex Parte Appeals Backlog Continues to Decline – down to 21,000 pending appeals.