September 16, 2020

The USPTO amends patent fees

The USPTO has amended its fees for patents across the board. The newly altered fee schedule will enter into effect as of October 2nd, 2020, marking the first substantial patent fee increase in 3 years.

The rise in patent fees is in line with a strategic plan which was set out by the USPTO aiming to improve patent operations within the US, whilst also facilitating cost recovery. The impact of cost recovery is hoped to allow the USPTO to operate and function more efficiently, providing the office a larger ability to simplify IP protection for applicants. The amendments to the fees themselves span across the majority of patent fees, constituting an average of a 5% increase throughout, although some fees have seen a much steeper increase.

Among the most substantial increases, the filing fee for a patent has risen by 7% for all entities, originally constituting 300 USD for large entities and now being 320 USD. The fee for the filing of a design application has experienced a sharper increase, having grown by 10%, with the fee of 220 USD now charged for large entities instead of 200 USD. The cost of filing independent claims in excess of 3 has increased slightly by 4%, with the fee now comprising 480 USD as opposed to the initial 460 USD for large entities. Similarly, the fee for the filing of pages in excess of 50 for a design and utility patent application will be 420 USD, inflating from 400 USD.

Experiencing an average 6% upswing, search fees for a utility patent will now comprise 700 USD instead of 660 USD for large entities. Examination fees have been raised by approximately 5%, with the utility patent examination fee rising from 760 USD to 800 USD for large entities and the design examination fees rising from 600 USD to 640 USD, constituting a 7% increase. Issuance fees have been impacted dramatically, with the cost of utility issuance advancing by 20% from 1000 USD to 1200 USD, comprising the same increase for re-issuance.

The maintenance fees for a patent are also among the most affected by the fee hike, with the maintenance payment due at year 3.5 for a large entity increasing from 1600 USD to 2000 USD, marking a 25% rise. The subsequent fees due at years 7.5 and 11.5 have experienced a lowlier increase of approximately 4.5%, while the surcharges imposed in relation to late payments of maintenance fees have soared by a huge 213%, skyrocketing from 160 USD to 500 USD for large entities.

It is hoped that by focusing on cost recoveries across the spectrum of patent fees, the intellectual property office may continue to expand and better assist those who wish to file for patent protection with the US. It is a crucial time for economies worldwide, and this move by the USPTO is one which may help to mitigate the financial implications of the current global circumstances.


Author: Danielle Carvey