McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC: Patent Fee Increases

McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC: Patent Fee Increases

By Carmen Santa Maria 

This article is the first in a series of mini-articles considering a section of the new patent statute and how it may affect your business.

Effective Friday, September 16, 2011, upon the signing of the Leahy-Smith Patent Reform Act by President Obama, new fees are in effect. The new fees still must be made available to the public for comments in the Federal Register. The fee increases affect most common patent fees, including fees for filing, examination, issue and maintenance. Although not significantly different from existing fees, the statute also contains a provision authorizing a 15% surcharge on most of these fees, effective 10 days after signing of the Act. It also authorizes a $400 fee when applications are not filed electronically with the USPTO.

In addition to Large Entities and Small Entities, the bill also establishes a new category of Microentities. Generally, Microentities are Small Entities that have filed fewer than four patent applications and that meet strict income requirements. Small Entities continue to receive a 50% reduction in fees charged to Large Entities; in most cases, Microentities receive a 75% reduction in fees charged to Large Entities. Should you desire more information including whether you may qualify for Microentity status, please contact one our firm's patent professionals.

These fee adjustments will impact the budgets of most businesses; after the initial patent filing, official fees can be the greatest cost of the patent or application. Thus, all businesses with patent portfolios, small or large, should factor these fee increases into their future budgets.

McNees clients will not be affected by the fee for non-electronic filing, since all applications filed by McNees are filed electronically.

All fees listed below pertain to Utility Patents. This is a partial listing of fees that likely affects your patent portfolio going forward. The fee after the 15% Surcharge discussed above is in parenthesis.

Filing Fee - $330 ($380)
Independent claims in excess of three - $220 ($253)
Each dependent claim in excess of twenty - $52 ($60)
Each multiple dependent claim - $390 ($449)
Examination - $220 ($253)
Issue Fee - $1510 ($1737)
Search Fee - $540 ($621)
Maintenance Fees - 4 Year - $980 ($1127) 
                           - 8 Year - $2480 ($2852) 
                           - 12 Year - $4110 ($4727)


© 2011 McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC 
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY NEWS is presented with the understanding that the publisher does not render specific legal, accounting or other professional service to the reader. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the law, information contained in this publication may become outdated. Anyone using this material must always research original sources of authority and update this information to ensure accuracy and applicability to specific legal matters. In no event will the authors, the reviewers or the publisher be liable for any damage, whether direct, indirect or consequential, claimed to result from the use of this material.

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