New USPTO Patent Fees Effective 19 March 2013

The US Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has recently published a new fee schedule which will be effective for any fee paid on or after 19 March 2013.
Most fees payable during patent prosecution are increasing, the notable exceptions being a reduction in the issue fee and elimination of the fee for electronic recordation, though these reductions are not effective until 1 January 2014.

Significant fee discount for small entities and micro entities:

The new fee schedule includes a 50% fee discount for small entities and a new 75% discount for "micro entities". A micro entity is either a small entity applicant that meets certain requirements based on the number of previously filed applications, gross income and ownership interests, or a small entity that satisfies the requirements set out for institutions of higher education. Importantly, universities qualify as micro entities.

Application fees:

The fee for filing an application will increase quite substantially, as will the fees for large numbers of claims. The cost of filing a request for continued examination (RCE) will also increase, particularly for second and further such requests. On the other hand, the issue fee will be substantially reduced from January 2014.

Maintenance (i.e. renewal) fee increases:

The maintenance fees have been increased significantly in the new fee schedule, particularly the third maintenance fee (due 11.5 years after grant) which is increasing by over 50%. Maintenance fees may be paid up to six months before the due date. Therefore, for granted US patents with maintenance fees due between 18 March 2013 and 18 September 2013, the increase in fees can be avoided by paying the fees early (by 18 March 2013) at the current rate. We will contact all clients who may be able to benefit from early payment of these fees. Prompt action is advisable, as it is expected that the USPTO will experience a surge in payments in the period leading up to the 18 March 2013 deadline.

The following table summarises the changes to the most relevant USPTO fees:


(Large Entities)

Current Fee

(To 18 March 2013)

New Fee

(From 19 March 2013)

Application fees(Basic, Search and Exam)


$1600 (+29%)

Claims fees (per claim):

>3 independent claims

>20 in total





$420 (+68%)

$80 (+29%)

Extension of time fees





$200/$600/$1400 (+33%/9%/9%)


1st/2nd or more




$1200/$1700 (+29%/NA)

Appeal fee


$800 if not forwarded to PTAB

$2800 if forwarded to PTAB

Issue fee


$1780 on or before 31 Dec 2013

$960 on or after 1 Jan 2014 (-46%)

Maintenance fees

3.5 years

7.5 years

11.5 years






$1600 (+39%)

$3600 (+24%)

$7400 (+54%)

14 February 2013

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