|Fees, Deposit Accounts, Credit Cards, Refunds, etc.
||Referenced Items (72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93)
(88) Payment of Patent Maintenance Fees over the Internet
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) now
accepts maintenance fee payments by deposit account over the Internet.
For more than a year the USPTO has provided customers the capability to
pay maintenance fees by credit card or electronic funds transfer (EFT)
using the USPTO Internet website. Now, as a result of recent
enhancements, the USPTO Internet website is also capable of accepting
maintenance fee payments by charging to a deposit account. Whether a
maintenance fee is to be paid by credit card, EFT or deposit account,
the USPTO Internet website is regularly available year-round to process
the payment at any time of the day, except during regular scheduled
maintenance (see the website for details).
The Internet payment vehicle provides benefits to both the customer and
the USPTO. Compared to payments made through the mail, the Internet
procedure for paying maintenance fees is not subject to any fee
handling delays and it offers customers the advantage of fast and
reliable payment confirmation (usually under 90 seconds) and allows the
USPTO to manage its resources more effectively.
The Internet procedure for paying maintenance fees is provided by the
USPTO Office of Finance via the "Office of Finance On-Line Shopping
Page." Patentees and their representatives are encouraged to use this
procedure whenever a maintenance fee payment is required. This Notice
explains how to access the Internet payment procedure from the USPTO
Internet web site and encourages users to obtain a receipt upon
completing the Internet payment procedure.
To access the "Office of Finance On-Line Shopping Page" from the
USPTO Internet web site (http://www.uspto.gov), click the
"Check Status" button on the web site. The "Check Status" web
page shall appear. Then, under the "Check status of" column, click
the "Patent maintenance fees" hyperlink, and the "On-Line
Shopping" web page shall appear. On the "On-Line Shopping Page" a
choice must be made between maintaining a deposit account and paying a
patent maintenance fee. Click on "Pay Patent Maintenance Fees" to
begin the Internet payment procedure.
After entering the relevant "Patent Number" and the corresponding
"Application Number" on the initial web page of the Internet
payment procedure, another web page shall appear showing the relevant
fee information as well as a "Make Payment" button and a box
labeled "To view a Statement after payment." Before clicking
the "Make Payment" button, the box labeled "To view a Statement
after payment" should be checked in order to prompt an updated
statement of maintenance fees paid upon successful completion of the
payment procedure. You will not be able to ask for an updated statement
on any of the succeeding web pages of the Internet payment
The succeeding web pages of the Internet payment procedure require the
user to specify the form of payment (i.e., credit card,
EFT, or deposit account) and to enter the appropriate payment
information. The final web page of the Internet payment procedure,
titled "Payment Information Summary," is where maintenance fee
payment occurs. Review the payment information appearing on this web
page, and if all the information is correct, click the "Continue"
button to make payment.
Provided the "To view a statement after payment" box was checked as
recommended in the underlined section above, a payment confirmation
screen will automatically appear containing an updated maintenance fee
payment statement showing the desired maintenance fee payment has been
made. It is suggested that you print a copy of this payment
statement as a receipt of maintenance fee payment. The Office
will accept the receipt as proof that the payment shown thereon was
timely made. Of course, in order for actual payment by credit card or
EFT to occur, your banking or credit card institution must transfer the
money to the Office. If the "To view a statement after payment" box
was not checked as recommended above, payment confirmation is simply in
| Top of Notices (88) December 29, 2009
||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
||1349 CNOG 409
the form of a "Transaction Successful" message.
Any difficulty using the Internet payment procedure or obtaining a
receipt of maintenance fee payment should be brought to the attention
of the Patent Maintenance Fee Division by calling (703) 308-5068/5069.
Note: as an alternative to the Internet payment procedure,
particularly where a payment deadline is near, a maintenance fee
payment can be timely made using the Certificate of Mailing procedure
set forth at 37 CFR 1.8. Maintenance Fee payments should now be mailed
to: United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 371611,
Pittsburgh PA 15250-1611. See 37 CFR 1.1(d); Revision
of Patent Fees for Fiscal Year 2002, 1249 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office
110, 112 (August 28, 2001).
Questions concerning this notice should be directed to Gisele Jones,
Director, Receipt Accounting Division, Office of Finance, by telephone
at (703) 308-9649, by facsimile at (703) 308-6778, or by e-mail at
December 6, 2001 MICHELLE PICARD
Director, Office of Finance
[1254 OG 33]