The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last week established an updated patent fee schedule, effective January 16, 2018. The updated schedule provides for a modest increase for most fees—but also more significant increases and additions that could have a major impact on patent prosecution budgets and filing strategies. Below we provide an overview of the most significant takeaways from the updated fee schedule.
Utility Patent Application Filing, Search, Examination, and Issue Fees
Utility patent fees have increased by between 4% and 10%. The late declaration surcharge also has increased from $140 ($70 for small entities) to $160 ($80 for small entities).
More significantly, the USPTO has increased excess claim fees (for each claim over 20) by 25%, from $80 per claim ($40 for small entities) to $100 ($50 for small entities).
For those filing applications that require sequence listings, applicants should take note that the USPTO has created new fees associated with filing sequence listings of 300 MB or more, some quite significant. For large entities, the fee for filing a sequence listing between 300 MB and 800 MB will be $1,000 ($500 for small entities), while the fee for those greater than 800 MB will be $10,000 ($5,000 for small entities).
Design Patent Application Filing, Search, Examination, and Issue Fees
Design patent fees will increase more substantially than utility patent fees. While the basic filing fee is up only 11%, the search and examination fees have increased by 33% and 30%, respectively. Thus, the combined filing fees for a design application now total $960 ($480 for small entities), up from $760 currently ($380 for small entities).
Additionally, the design patent issue fee has increased from $560 ($280 for small entities) to $700 ($350 for small entities).
Current extension-of-time fees will not change under the updated fee schedule.
Current maintenance fees will not change under the updated fee schedule.
Patent Trial and Appeal Board Fees
Current appeal fees will not change under the updated schedule. However, fees associated with Inter Partes Review (IPR) and Post-Grant Reviews (PGR) or Covered Business Method (CBM) Reviews or proceedings have increased significantly.
In one of the most significant increases, the fee for requesting an IPR has jumped by $6,500, to $15,500. The IPR excess claim fee (for each claim over 20 in the request) has increased from $200 to $300.
Similarly, the new fee for requesting a PGR or CBM review has increased from $12,000 to $16,000, and the PGR/CBM excess claim fee (for each claim over 20 in the request) has increased from $250 to $375.
More information about the new fees is available on the USPTO website.