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June 05, 2000
#00-35

CONTACT:
Brigid Quinn
Kim Byars
703-305-8341

Press Release, 00-35

USPTO Accepts Credit Card Payments

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announces its acceptance of credit card payments for all fees and services such as: basic filing fee for a utility patent application, patent maintenance fees, trademark application for registration and trademark application for renewal.

USPTO previously limited credit card transactions for information products, such as copies of patents or trademarks, or for an electronic submission for a trademark application. The USPTO processed about 60,000 credit card transactions during FY 1999 totaling about $7 million, including about 19,000 credit card transactions for trademark applications filed over the Internet.

In November 1999, the USPTO solicited comments on a proposal to amend its rules of practice to include payment of any patent or trademark fee by credit card. USPTO currently accepts charges to American Express, Discover, Master Card, and Visa. 

"We believe our customers will appreciate the ease of using credit cards as more and more of the agency's products and services become available on the Internet. It should be particularly helpful to small businesses and small inventors as it makes it more convenient to make required fee payments for patents and trademarks," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Q. Todd Dickinson.

USPTO, a user fee-funded agency of the United States, within the Department of Commerce, administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office advises the Secretary of Commerce and other federal departments and agencies on intellectual property policy matters. Over 6 million patents have been issued since the first patent in 1790. Last year USPTO issued 161,000 patents and registered 104,000 trademarks.

Credit Card Payment Form and Instructions

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