Proposed USPTO Fee Changes Starting October 2024

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced proposed fee increases that are expected to be implemented starting October 1, 2024.
United States Intellectual Property
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TAKEAWAY: The USPTO is set to increase filing, prosecution, and post-grant fees starting October 1, 2024.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced proposed fee increases that are expected to be implemented starting October 1, 2024. The USPTO states the proposed adjustments are needed to provide it with sufficient aggregate revenue to recover the aggregate costs that will be incurred from patent operations in future years. The fee changes, some of which are detailed below, show the USPTO's desire to encourage more succinct patent applications, with less claims and IDS citations, and for Applicants to generally pursue smaller patent families with less continuation filings.

Some notable fee changes for regular (undiscounted) Applicants will include:

  • Filing Fees:
    • A surcharge of $2,200 will be applied to new application filings (e.g., continuations) that are more than 5 years from the earliest claimed priority (or benefit) date, and $3,500 for filings that are more than eight years after the earliest claimed priority date.
    • A tiered fee structure for Information Disclosure Statements (IDS) will be applied based on the number of references cited, including $200 for more than 50 references, $500 for more than 100 references, and $800 for more than 200 references.
    • Claims in excess of 20 will have a 100% fee increase from the current fee of $100.
  • Prosecution Fees:
    • A $500 fee for filing a request for consideration under the After Final Consideration Pilot Program 2.0 (AFCP 2.0), whereas currently there is no fee for Applicants to participate in the program.
    • A first Request for Continued Examination (RCE) will adopt a 10% fee increase, a second RCE will adopt a 25% fee increase, and a third (or more) RCE will adopt an 80% fee increase.
    • Terminal disclaimer (TD) fees will soon vary depending on when the TD is filed during prosecution. For example, a TD filed prior to the first action on the merits will require a $200 fee, prior to a final action or allowance will require a $500 fee, and after a final action or allowance will require an $800 fee. On or after the filing of a Notice of Appeal, an $1,100 fee will be required, whereas in a patented or reissue case a $1,400 fee will apply. Currently, an Applicant is only required to pay a $170 fee when filing a TD during prosecution.
  • Post-Grant Fees:
    • o Both inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR) proceedings will experience a 25% fee increase.

Additional information regarding the USPTO's new fee schedule can be found on its website here. The USPTO's Proposed Rule regarding the new fee schedule was published in the Federal Register on April 3, 2024, and can be viewed on its website here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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