New USPTO Fees Effective March 16, 2013

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) recently revealed a revised fee schedule which changes the fees for any fee paid on or after March 19, 2013. While this is the first time the USPTO has set its own fees since receiving the authority to do so under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, this is the third time since passage of the Act that the fees have increased (previous increases were on September 26, 2011 and October 5, 2012). With certain exceptions, most patent fees during prosecution are increasing. A brief overview of revised fees follows.

Application filing fees

The filing fees for U.S. provisional, non-provisional, design, and U.S. National Stage applications are increasing for applications filed on or after March 19, 2013. While the fee for requesting prioritized examination is decreasing, the USPTO is significantly increasing the fees for independent claims in excess of three and multiple independent claims. In addition, the fees for PCT applications filed with the USPTO are increasing for applications filed on or after January 1, 2014.

Increased fees for extensions of time and request for continued examination

The extension of time and request for continued examination (“RCE”) fees are also increasing effective March 19, 2013. For RCEs, the USPTO has established a system that discourages applicants from filing more than one RCE in an application by significantly increasing the cost for a second or subsequent RCE. The large entity fees are $1,200 for the first RCE and $1,700 for a second or subsequent RCE filed in an application.

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