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Tuesday Feb 07, 2012

USPTO Releases its Proposed Patent Fee Schedule and its Proposed Contested Case Rules

From: Director David Kappos

The USPTO presents our proposed patent fee schedule in advance of the PPAC Fee Setting Hearings.  Specifically, the agency has assembled five documents about our proposed patent fees: (i) a transmittal letter from the USPTO to PPAC explaining our fee setting philosophy; (ii) an executive summary of our proposed fee schedule; (iii) detailed information about our proposed fee schedule; (iv) a table of proposed fee changes; and (v) aggregate revenue calculations:

The agency followed two principles in its fee setting process.  First, the agency must have a more sustainable funding model than it has had in the past to avoid disruptions in agency operations due to economic fluctuations.  Second, the agency seeks to reduce the backlog of unexamined patent applications and reduce patent application pendency in accordance with the USPTO 2010-2015 Strategic Plan.  The proposed fees were set or adjusted under Section 10 of the AIA to accomplish these principles. 

The USPTO looks forward to engaging with the public about our fee proposal and making any necessary modifications to enhance our final product.  We likewise encourage the public to participate in the PPAC public hearings by either giving witness testimony and/or submitting written comments.  The PPAC Fee Setting Hearings are schedule for Wednesday, February 15 at the UPSTO’s Alexandria campus and Thursday, February 23 in Sunnyvale, California.  Please visit the PPAC website for additional information regarding the hearings.

Separately, the USPTO is releasing its proposed rules for the contested case provisions, i.e., inter partes review, post grant review, the transitional program for covered business methods, and derivation.  The documents appearing below are not the official Federal Register publications of those proposed rules.  The official Federal Register publications will follow later this week on February 9 and 10, 2012, and the agency will provide links to the official documents as soon as they are available.  Publication of the proposed rules in the Federal Register will begin the sixty-day public comment period for the proposed rules.

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