The USPTO has proposed a major set of patent fee revisions. One purpose of the new fees is to raise revenue. It is also clear that the proposal is designed to shift patent applicant behavior along certain fronts. You can read more at the following links. Note, that the PPAC will be holding a public hearing Thursday, May 18, 2023, from 1-3 p.m. ET.
- 88 FR 24392 – Notice of Public Hearing – PPAC
- Letter from the Director to PPAC
- Table of Proposed Patent Fee Adjustments
- Table of Patent Fees – Current, Proposed and Unit Cost
- Patent Fee Proposal Executive Summary
- Patent Fee Proposal Background Information
I submitted a brief comment arguing that before any fee shifting occurs, it is essential to conduct an economic analysis to forecast the impact on USPTO revenue and on innovator behavior. In the commentary, I outline four general categories of fees, including (1) fees designed to raise money for the USPTO, (2) fees that create a costly screen, (3) fees that shift behavior without substantially shifting rights or raising overall costs, and (4) fees that discourage certain behaviors that result in a loss of rights for users. Each of these categories has potential major impacts, but categories 2 and 4 raise special concerns.
In the commentary, I identify eight specific proposed fee changes that require special attention by the USPTO chief economist or other economic experts. These include new and increased fees for AIA Trial filings, new large costs for terminal disclaimers, and substantial increases in fees for additional claims, among others.
Read it here: ltr.20230510.FeeShifting