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PTO Issues List of Fees to Increase by 15% After Passage of Patent Reform Bill

September 21, 2011

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Sept. 21 released its list of fees that will face a 15 percent surcharge following the Leahy-Smith America Invent Act (Public Law 112-29), which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Sept. 16. The 15 percent increase is effective September 26, 2011.

List of Fees; Mailing Issues.

For a full list of fee changes, please click here.

In response to public inquiries regarding the fees due when payments are made by postal mail just prior to the Sept. 16 surcharge effective date, the USPTO explained that “[t]he fee due is the fee in effect on the date the document is timely filed.” The USPTO press release outlined the following postal mailing options:

  1. Certificate of Mailing or Transmission: Certain fees (e.g., issue and maintenance fees) may be paid through the postal mail using a certificate of mailing or transmission.  See 37 C.F.R. 1.8.  Correspondence will be considered as being timely filed on the date of transmission that appears on the certificate.  Fees paid by postal mail with the properly filed certificates of mailing or transmission dated prior to September 26, 2011, will not be subject to the 15 percent surcharge.
  2. Filing by Express Mail: Correspondences will be considered as being timely filed on the date the correspondence is deposited with a U.S. post office, if the express mail procedures described in 37 CFR 1.10 are followed.  Therefore, fees paid by using the express mail will not be subject to the 15 percent fee increase when deposited with a U.S. post office, under the provisions of 37 CFR 1.10, prior to September 26, 2011.

USPTO accepts check, money order, credit card authorization, or deposit account authorization.  Electronic payment methods are also available.  Additional information on the currently accepted methods of payment is available here.

Micro Entity Fees.

“At this time the USPTO may not offer the micro entity discount (75%) on any fees,” the agency’s press release continued. It noted that these fees will be adjusted under the fee setting authority under Section 10 of the America Invents Act (AIA), and that new law “continues to provide a small entity discount (50%) under 35 U.S. C. § 41(h)(1).”

The press release added:

Once the USPTO sets these new fees, it is anticipated that the new fees will include a 50% reduction for small entities and a 75% reduction for micro entities for “filing, searching, examining, issuing, appealing, and maintaining patent applications and patents.” Applicants qualifying for a small entity discount (50%) will be those who meet the current definition in 35 U.S. C. 41(h)(1) while applicants qualifying for a micro entity discount (75%) will be those who meet the definition outlined in AIA Section 11(g).

For more on the frequently asked questions for the America Invents Act implementation, please click here.

For the revised USPTO fee schedule, click here.

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