The USPTO has published an increase in patent fees, effective January 16, 2018 in its federal register. The last time the USPTO issued a fee hike was in March 2013 when the America Invents Act became authoritative. According to the USPTO, “[t]he fee adjustments are needed to provide the Office with a sufficient amount of aggregate revenue to recover its aggregate cost of patent operations … while maintaining momentum towards achieving strategic goals.”
Effective March 19, 2013, the USPTO fee structure has divided into three categories for non-profit organizations — Micro Entity, Small Entity, and Large Entity. The requirements to qualify for each entity status is further explained below after the fee table.
Notably enough, the USPTO decided to reduce the ex-parte appeal fee (than originally planned). According to the register, regarding appeal fees, a commenter had expressed “concern over passing a large portion of the appeal unit costs as increased fee rates borne by an appellant[, and] [t]hus … suggested eliminating, or substantially reducing, the notice of appeal fee. Another commenter questioned whether increasing appeal fees would discourage meritorious appeals, noting that, the reversal rate by the PTAB indicates that a large number of appeals are pursued to correct invalid rejections.”
Based on the comments, the USPTO reduced the fee increase for forwarding an appeal application to the board by $240, $120, and $60 for large, small and micro entities, respectively, instead of the proposed increase of $500, $250, and $125 for each respective entity.
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TOTAL INITIAL UTILITY APPLICATION FILING FEE TOTAL INITIAL DESIGN APPLICATION FILING FEE
USPTO Fee Code Description Micro Entity
PROVISIONAL (UTILITY) APPLICATIONS
1005/2005/3005 Provisional Application Filing Fee 70 140 280
NON-PROVISIONAL (UTILITY) APPLICATIONS
4011 Basic Filing Fee—Utility (electronic filing) 75 75 300
1111/2111/3111 Utility Search Fee 165 330 660
1311/2311/3311 Utility Examination Fee 190 380 760
430 785 1,720
OTHER UTILITY APPLICATION FEES
1201/2201/3201 Independent Claims in Excess of Three (Per Claim) 115 230 460
1202/2202/3202 Claims in Excess of 20 (Per Claim) 25 50 100
1203/2203/3203 Multiple Dependent Claim (Per Claim) 205 410 820
1051/2051/3051 Surcharge—Late Filing Fee, Search Fee, Examination Fee, Inventor's Oath or Declaration, or Application Filed Without at Least One Claim or by Reference 40 80 160
1801/2801/3801 Request for Continuation (RCE) - First Request 325 650 1300
1820/2820/3820 Request for Continuation (RCE) - Second and Subsequent Request 475 950 1900
1012/2012/3012 Basic Filing Fee—Design 50 100 200
1112/2112/3112 Design Search Fee 40 80 160
1312/2312/3312 Design Examination Fee 150 300 600
240 480 960
OTHER DESIGN APPLICATION FEES
1017/2017/3017 Basic Filing Fee—Design (CPA) 50 100 200
APPEAL FEES (Ex parte)
1401/2401/3401 Notice of Appeal 200 400 800
1413/2413/3413 Forwarding an Appeal in an Application or Ex parte Reexamination Proceeding to the Board 560 1120 2240
1014/2014/3014 Basic Filing Fee—Reissue 75 150 300
1314/2314/3314 Reissue Examination Fee 550 1,100 2,200
1114/2114/3114 Reissue Search Fee 165 330 660
1204/2204/3204 Reissue Independent Claims in Excess of Three (Per Claim) 115 230 460
1205/2205/3205 Reissue Claims in Excess of 20 (Per Claim) 25 50 100
1019/2019/3019 Basic Filing Fee—Reissue (CPA) 75 150 300
TOTAL INITIAL UTILITY APPLICATION FILING FEE
TOTAL INITIAL DESIGN APPLICATION FILING FEE
Entity Status Explained:
1. Micro entity status: Entities or inventors that have less than (i) 4 prior patent application (excluding provisional applications or applications assigned to previous employer) (ii) have a gross income less than 3 times the median household income in the U.S. for the preceding calendar year ( currently at $169,548 per the USPTO) (iii) have not assigned, licensed, or conveyed an interest in the invention to an entity that had a gross income of more than $168,548, and (iv) qualify for small entity (below).
2. Small entity status: Entities that have less than 500 employees and have not assigned, licensed, or conveyed an interest in the invention to an entity with more than 500 employees qualify for small entity status.
3. Large entity status: Those who do not qualify for micro or small entity status.
Please note, these fees are government fees only and do not include legal fees.