The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently released another round of proposed patent fees. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeks additional feedback from the public.
The 60-day comment period is currently underway and will conclude on Monday, November 5, 2012. The full text of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available here.
As we have previously discussed on this IP law blog, the America Invents Act requires the agency to set fees on a cost-recovery basis with input from stakeholders. According to the USPTO, the proposed fee structure “will recover the aggregate estimated costs of the Office while achieving strategic and operational goals, such as implementing a sustainable funding model, reducing the current patent application backlog, decreasing patent pendency, improving patent quality, and upgrading the patent IT business capability and infrastructure.”
In good news for applicants, the current proposed fees are lower than those originally proposed by the USPTO in February. The USPTO also highlights that the proposed fees are at least 22 percent lower for a routine patent process—i.e., filing, search, examination, publication, and issue fees—than the current fee schedule.
While some fees will increase, the USPTO emphasizes that the proposed fee schedule would help small businesses. It includes a new 75 percent fee reduction for micro entities, and expands the availability of the 50 percent fee reduction for small entities, providing small entities a discount on more than 25 patent fees that do not currently qualify for a small entity discount.
For more information about how the new fees may impact your IP budget, we encourage you to contact one of our experienced patent attorneys for a free 30-minute consultation.
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