USPTO Publishes Final Rule Setting Patent Fees

USPTO SealLast Friday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a final rule in the Federal Register (78 Fed. Reg. 4212) setting and adjusting certain patent fees pursuant to the Office's fee-setting authority under § 10 of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.  The publication of the 80-page final rule (nearly) culminates a process that began last February when the Office submitted a proposed fee schedule to the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC).  PPAC the held two public hearings on the proposed schedule, and in September issued a report on that schedule.  Following consideration of PPAC's report, the published a notice of proposed rulemaking setting and adjusting certain patent fees, which initiated a 45-day comment period that ended in November.  Although the AIA allows the new fee schedule to take effect 45 days after publication (i.e., March 4, 2013), in order to give Congress an opportunity to review the schedule, the notice indicates that the final rule will take effect on March 19, 2013, except for the following amendments, which will take effect on January 1, 2014:

§ 1.18(a)(1), (b)(1), (c)(1), and (d)(1) – patent issue and publication fees
§ 1.21(h)(1) – fee for recording a patent assignment electronically
§ 1.482(a)(1)(i)(A), (a)(1)(ii)(A), and (a)(2)(i) – international application filing, processing and search fees)
§ 1.445(a)(1)(i)(A), (a)(2)(i), (a)(3)(i), and (a)(4)(i) – international application transmittal and search fees

In September, we posted several tables listing the fees for large entities that were proposed to change (see "More on USPTO's Proposed New Fees - Part II").  One table sorted the fees as they might be paid during the course of prosecution, another sorted the fees by amount, and a third table sorted the fees by dollar and percent change.  Because only seven of the patent fees for large entities changed from the notice of proposed rulemaking to the final rule, the table below lists the fees as they might be paid during the course of prosecution, with the current fee, proposed fee, final fee, and dollar change from the proposed fee to the final fee (click on table to enlarge):

Final Fees