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Attention Patent Lawyers: USPTO to Hike Fees

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on November 12, 2015 2:59 PM

The USPTO has published a proposed set of changes that calls for "slightly" increasing patent prosecution fees -- this despite the proposals also call for common fee increases ranging from 10 percent to 25 percent.

The proposed changes to the Information Disclosure Statement are being proposed ostensibly to benefit applicants. The fee hike has been justified by the USPTO on the grounds that the funds will be used to ensure enhanced patent examination quality and improved efficiency. The fees are scheduled to be implemented January of 2017, at a patent office near you.

Highlights

The following language is taken from the USPTO's Fee Setting and Adjusting Page.

"The USPTO proposes to make significant increases to filing/search/examination/issue fees, RCE fees, and appeal fees."

"[C]urrent ... fees only recover one quarter of the cost of filing, search, and examination of a utility application."

Fees, Fees, and more Fees

Besides boosting the fees for filing, the USPTO will also raise RCE fees, the fees associated with appeal, the fees for listing a new sequence, the fees for PTAB Trials, and potentially much, much more.

We're Not Gonna Take it!

USPTO can call the fee hikes whatever they want, but in the end, it represent yet another consideration that intellectual property attorneys and the businesses they represent must deal with. For now, stakeholders with pending patent budget can review the proposed fee changes and raise hell -- er, submit reasoned comments for or against the proposed fee hikes. Good luck trying to find out how though. Details are included in this October Federal Register Notice. For ease, it is the first item in the paper.

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