The America Invents Act granted the PTO the right, for the first time, to set its own fees. Previously, PTO fees were set by Congress. The PTO has now published its proposed fee schedule. Not surprisingly, the fees are going up. The PTO seeks to increase its funding to deal with backlog issues in applications and appeals.

The proposed new fees significantly increase the current fees:

* *Basic filing, search, and exam fee: $1,840 from $1,250 (up 47%);
* *More than 3 independent claims: $460 each, from $250 (up 84%);
* More than 20 toal claims: $100 each, up from $60 (up 67%);
* *Request for Continued Examination (RCE): $1,700 from $930 (up 83%);
* Notice of Appeal: $1,500 from $620 (up 142%), but the PTO proposes to waive the issue fee if the examiner withdraws the final rejection;
* *Proceeding with appeal: $2,500 after examiner’s answer to move to board; there is no longer any fee for filing an appeal brief (was $620);
* *Issue and Publication fees: $960 from $2,040 (DOWN 53%);
* *Maintenance fees: $1,600, $3,600, $7,600 from $1,130, $2,850, $4,730 (up 42%, 26%, 61%, respectively).

The above stated fees are for large entities. Small entities (companies with less than 500 employees) will pay 50% of the stated amount.
Micro-entities receive a 75% discount on the stated fees.

The PTO has sent the proposed fee structure to the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and they will begin a series of public hearings. PPAC will hold hearings, gather feedback from the public and prepare a report to the PTO. After the hearings, the PTO will publish the final proposed rules on fees in the Federal Register, probably in June. This will begin a 60-day comment period on the rules which they hope to implement by fall.
“See the USPTO press release.(USPTO press release 12-09)”: