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Thursday Sep 06, 2012

USPTO Publishes Proposed Patent Fee Rules in the Federal Register and Releases Companion Fee Related Documents

From Janet Gongola, Patent Reform Coordinator:

On September 6, 2012, the USPTO published proposed rules in the Federal Register setting or adjusting fees for patent related services.  In proposing patent fees through this rulemaking, the agency is exercising its fee setting authority established under Section 10 of the AIA.  The proposed patent fee rules as seen in the Federal Register are available here:

Patent Fees Proposed Rule (77 Fed. Reg. 55028, September 6, 2012)

Additionally, the USPTO announces the release of several fee related documents to assist with understanding the process and analysis that went into developing the proposed patent fee rules set forth in the Federal Register publication.  These fee related documents include: (i) an “At A Glance” summary of proposed patent fees; (ii) a Regulatory Impact Analysis; (iii) a table of patent fee changes; (iv) costing methodologies; (v) elasticity estimates; (vi) Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act tables; and (vii) ten aggregate revenue tables with instructions. 

At A Glance Summary:   This document summarizes the proposed patent fees for services offered by the agency, which are set forth in detail in the Federal Register notice.

Regulatory Impact Analysis:  The Office prepared a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) to analyze the costs and benefits of the agency’s proposed patent fees over a five-year period, as required by the Office of Management and Budget.  This analysis includes a comparison of the proposed fee schedule to the current fee schedule (baseline) and to three other alternatives.  The Office considered both monetized and qualitative costs and benefits.

Table of Patent Fee Changes:  The Office prepared this table to summarize the changes from the current patent fee schedule as compared to the proposed patent fees.  This table includes all current large and small entity fee amounts; all proposed large, small, and micro entity fee amounts; and the percent change between the current and proposed large entity fees.  The table also displays the historical unit costs for fees for FY 2009 - FY 2011.

Costing Methodologies:  This document provides additional detail on the costing methodologies used to derive the historical costs of certain activities, which was used to inform the fee setting and is also outlined in the Table of Patent Fee Changes.

Elasticity Estimates:  When developing fee forecasts, the Office estimates the elasticity of price changes, i.e., how applicant behavior might change with different price changes for the various patent services.  The Office prepared this document to describe the statistical examination of the elasticity.  The document summarizes the results of this analysis and provides detail on how elasticity was determined for certain user fees.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Tables:  The Office created fee tables that show all current large and small entity fee amounts; all proposed large, small, and micro entity fee amounts; and the percent change between current and proposed fee amounts for each alternative discussed in the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis.  These tables are also referenced for each alternative in the RIA.

Aggregate Revenue Tables: The Office developed out year revenue estimates for the proposed patent fees and each alternative presented in the RIA.  These tables show both fee amounts and workloads for every USPTO fee included in the proposed fee structure and each alternative.  The fee amounts and workloads are multiplied to determine an estimated revenue amount for each USPTO fee.  The table is summarized to show the estimated aggregate revenue through FY 2017.  These tables are provided in both .pdf and Excel formats for ease of use, and step-by-step instructions for reading the tables are provided.

Lastly, the USPTO will discuss the proposed patent fee rules at AIA roadshows to be held in Atlanta, Alexandria, Va., Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York City throughout September 2012.  More information about the roadshows, including venue locations and an agenda, can be found here:

Roadshow Page

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