The USPTO recently published a final rule on fee changes for Fiscal Year 2020. The new fees take effect on October 2, 2020. The USPTO points out that is the first fee increase in almost three years.
The USPTO’s patent fees changes result in a generally 5-7% across-the-board increase to patent fees; however, the following fees (with percent increases and new large entity fees shown) have a significantly greater fee increase such that advance planning and action may be warranted.
- Issue Fee: 20% increase from $1,000 to $1,200
- First (3.5 year) Maintenance Fee: 25% increase from $1,600 to $2,000
- Late Maintenance Fee Payment Surcharge: 213% increase from $160 to $500
- Expedited Examination of Design Patent Application: 78% increase from $900 to $1,600
- Inter Partes Review Request Fee: 23% increase from $15,000 to $19,000
- Post Grant Review Request Fee: 25% increase from $16,000 to $20,000
It is important to note that while the issue fee is increasing on October 2, 2020, issue fees paid after October 1, 2020 can be paid at the lower $1,000 issue fee as long as $1,000 is the sum specified in the notice of allowance. Thus, there is no need to accelerate issue fee payments if $1,000 is the sum specified in the notice of allowance.
However, as the first year maintenance fee and the late maintenance fee surcharges are common fees with considerable increases, we recommend immediately reviewing your patent portfolio to identify any of these fees that have a due date on or after October 2, 2020. Efforts can be then made to pay these fees by October 1, 2020 to avoid being subject to the higher fees.
A summary of the fee changes can be found on the USPTO’s website at: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/performance-and-planning/summary-fy-2020-final-patent-fee-rule
Also, a full listing of fee changes showing the changes for all large, small and micro entity fees can be found on the USPTO’s website at: https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Table%20of%20Patent%20Fee%20Adjustments-FY2020%20Final%20Rule.xlsx