Friday, November 09, 2007

Fee structure at the USPTO

Patent Docs discusses current fees at the USPTO and why a schedule of escalating fees is not a good idea.

Of current fees:

Under the current fee regime, Patent Office filing fees can be broken down into fixed and variable, where the fixed fees are charged for every application but the variable fees are applicant-dependent. For example, the fees for a utility application containing no more than 3 independent claims and 20 total claims is made up of the basic filing fee ($310.00, 37 C.F.R. § 1.16(a)(1)), a search fee ($510.00, § 1.16(k)), and an examination fee ($210.00, § 1.16(o)); all values are for large entities, and the basic filing fee is waived if the application is filed electronically. Applicant-dependent fees include fees for filing more than 3 independent claims ($210.00 per claim, § 1.16(h)), total claims in excess of 20 ($50.00 per claim, § 1.16(i)) and a surcharge for filing multiply-dependent claims ($370.00, § 1.16(j)). The Office also charges more for extra sheets of an application ($260.00 per 50 sheets in excess of 100 total; specification, claims, abstract and drawings), a fee not charged for applications filed electronically.

Of suggestions for escalating fees:

The difficulty with these suggestions is that they fall into the same trap that caused (or at least encouraged) the ill-conceived Patent Office "new rules." First, they blame the applicant for years of neglect, underfunding, and mismanagement at the Office. Second, they are to be applied indiscriminately against applicants with inventions that legitimately require more than 25 claims to fully protect them. And while they are frankly intended to influence behavior, brief consideration suggests that the behavior they produce will not solve the problem.

This falls into the rubric of blaming the many for the bad acts of a few.


Post a Comment

<< Home