United States: PTO Proposes Increasing Patent FeesAAA IPRIGHT5
Increases in patent fees have been suggested, according to the US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO). Inflation would result in a general 5% rise in patent fees.
In order to lessen the amount that other charge sources subsidize certain fees, some rates would be raised by a significant amount more than the 5% inflationary rise. For instance, a 27% rise in filing, search, and examination costs plus a 76% increase in the issue fee would result in a 48% total increase in design patent expenses. The PTO also suggests raising the excess claim charge by 100% for each claim over 20 and the fee by 25% for each independent claim above 3. The PTO suggests price increases ranging from 196% to 468% due to the complexity of the expenditures associated with reviewing patent term extensions. The PTO also proposes a fee of $500 for filing an After Final Consideration Pilot (AFCP) 2.0 request, and new fees for filing an information disclosure statement (IDS) that causes the number of applicant-provided citations to exceed 50, 100, or 200 citations, respectively.
The PTO suggests costs of $1,500 for continuing applications submitted more than three years from the earliest benefit date and $3,000 for continuing applications filed more than seven years from the earliest benefit date in order to make up for the loss of future maintenance fee revenues.
Other fee increases that have been suggested are meant to expedite the patent examination procedure. For instance, the PTO suggests raising the fee by 80% for a third or later request for continuing examination (RCE) and by 25% for a second such request. There would be a 194% increase in the charge for a terminal disclaimer submitted after the initial decision on the merits but before a final denial. The charge would rise by 371% upon a final denial or notification of approval. The proposed increase for submitting a terminal disclaimer in an issued patent would be 724%, while the increase on or after a notice of appeal would be 547%.
The PTO also suggests raising America Invents Act (AIA) trial fees by 25% for the Patent Trial & Appeal Board. Additionally, the PTO suggests increased costs for petitions for inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR) that are longer than allowed. For instance, the PTO suggests increasing the price by 50% for petitions that go above the word limit by up to 50% and by 100% for petitions that go over the limit by up to 100%.
The date of the public hearing is May 18, 2023. The deadline for submitting a written request for oral testimony at the hearing is May 11, 2023. Till May 25, 2023, written comments on the suggested fees will be received.
The PTO expects the new fees to go into effect around January 2025.
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