Certain USPTO fees are set to decrease on January 1, 2014, including issue fees and the publication fees for utility applications. Also, as of January 1, 2014, certain PCT International Stage fees will have Small Entity and Micro Entity rates. Additionally, the USPTO no longer will charge a recordation fee to record a patent assignment document submitted electronically. Applicants may want to consider whether they can delay taking certain actions (such as paying issue fees) until on or after January 1, 2014, in order to take advantage of these reduced fee structures.
The USPTO Fee Changes
As set forth in the January 18, 2013, Federal Register Notice, when the USPTO exercised its new fee-setting authority, it included a plan to reduce certain fees effective January 1, 2014. In particular, the changes impact Patent Post-Allowance fees, PCT International Stage fees, and assignment recordation fees.
Patent Post-Allowance Fees (Large Entity/Small Entity/Micro Entity)
• Utility patent issue fee: decreases from $1,780/$890/$445 to $960/$480/$240
• Reissue patent issue fee: decrease from $1,780/$890/$445 to $960/$480/$240
• Design patent issue fee: decrease from $1,020/$510/$255 to $560/$280/$140
• Plant patent issue fee: decrease from $1,400/$700/$350 to $760/$380/$190
• Publication fees for early, voluntary, or normal publication: decrease from $300 to $0.
PCT Fees – International Stage Fees
While the basic PCT International Stage fees are not changing, the following fees will have Small Entity and Micro Entity rates:
Transmittal fee; Search fee; Supplemental Search fee; fee for Transmitting Application to International Bureau to act as Receiving Office; Preliminary Examination fees; Supplemental Examination fees; Late Payment fee.
Patent Service Fees
Consistent with its goal to make patent ownership information more transparent, the USPTO is eliminating the fee for recording a patent assignment, agreement or other paper that is submitted electronically.
The full fee schedule for fees paid on or after January 1, 2014, can be found here.