USPTO Reduces Patent-Related Fees

On January 1, the USPTO reduced or eliminated several of the fees it charges patent applicants.  This is fairly unusual in recent years, as most fees have only gone up.  There was discussion that when the PTO started setting its own fees that it would make them more commensurate with the scope of work involved.  In that regard, these reductions make sense.

The PTO eliminated the Publication Fee that was charged to applicants when they paid the Issue Fee.  The Issue Fee itself was reduced from $1,780 to $960.  There is some cost to the PTO with issuing the patent, but the new fees are more in line with the actual costs.  In effect, the fees due upon receiving a Notice of Allowance were reduced by about 54% ($2,080 to $960).  The Issue Fee is subject to discounts for small and micro entities of 50% and 75%, respectively.

The PTO also eliminated the $40 fee for assignment recordation, provided the assignment is recorded electronically.  This has been standard practice for patent practitioners for a number of years, so this will be a savings for virtually all applicants.

Finally, fees charged under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) are now subject to discounts for small and micro entity status.  Previously, all applicants paid the same fees for PCT filings.

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