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USPTO Proposes Increased Patent Fees

By Scott Cleere • Apr 6th, 2012 • Category: Intellectual Property Law

The USPTO released their proposed fee increases for the next fiscal year. Though most of the increases are moderate, there are some significant increases:

  • Utility Patent Filing/Search/Examination fees raised from $1,250 to $1,840
  • Design Patent Filing/Search/Examination fees raised from $530 to $1,180
  • Request for Continued Examination (RCE) fee raised from $930 to $1,700
  • Total maintenance fees raised from $8,710 to $12,800
    • Fee due at 3.5 years raised from $1,130 to $1,600
    • Fee due at 7.5 years raised from $2,850 to $3,600
    • Fee due at 11.5 years raised from $$4,730 to $7,600
  • Notice of Appeal fee raised from $620 to $1,500
    • Appeal Brief filing fee of $620 eliminated
  • Request for Ex Parte Reexamination raised from $2,520 to $17,760
  • Independent Claims in excess of 3 raised from $250 to $460 per independent claim
  • Total Claims in excess of 20 raised from $60 to $100 per claim

Although the fee for filing a notice of appeal is more than doubled, the elimination of the appeal brief filing fee negates much of the fee increase. The effect of this is to front load the costs of filing and pursuing an appeal. It may also encourage more applicants to file an RCE rather than pursuing an appeal, which may be motivated by the growing backlog of pending appeals.

The proposed fee schedule also introduces fees for the newly created micro entity category. Reduced fees for micro entities are generally available for all fees where a small entity reduction is available. Small entities fees are ½ the fees charged large entities. Micro entities will be charged ½ the small entity fee.

Click here for a copy of the proposed fee schedule.

Props to Stephen Nipper at The Invent Blog.

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Scott Cleere is Scott is a patent attorney with the firm Cleere IP Law Office, LLC in Madison, WI. Scott's practice includes all areas of intellectual property law with an emphasis on patent and trademark prosecution. Scott has a LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law & Policy from the University of Washington School of Law.
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