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607    Filing Fee [R-11.2013]

Patent application filing fees are set in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 41 and the Fee Setting Authority set forth in section 10 of Public Law 112-29, Sept. 16, 2011(the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act). The fee amounts are available from the USPTO’s Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/about/offices /cfo/finance/fees.jsp.

I.   BASIC FILING, SEARCH, AND EXAMINATION FEES

For nonprovisional applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) on or after December 8, 2004 (including reissue applications), the following fees are required: basic filing fee as set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(a), (b), (c) or (e); search fee as set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(k), (l), (m), or (n); examination fee as set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(o), (p), (q), or (r); application size fee as set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(s), if applicable (see subsection II. below); excess claims fees as set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(h), (i), or (j), , if applicable (see subsection III. below); and non-electronic filing fee as set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(t), if applicable (see subsection IV. below).

The basic filing, search and examination fees are due on filing of the nonprovisional application under 35 U.S.C. 111(a). These fees may be paid on a date later than the filing date of the application provided they are paid within the time period set forth in 37 CFR 1.53(f) and include the surcharge set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(f).

For provisional applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(b), the basic filing fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(d) is required. The basic filing fee is due on filing of the provisional application, but may be paid later, if paid within the time period set forth in 37 CFR 1.53(g) and accompanied by payment of a surcharge as set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(g).

For international applications entering the national stage under 35 U.S.C. 371, see 37 CFR 1.492 for the required fees. See also MPEP § 1893.01(c).

See also MPEP § 1415 for reissue application fees.

II.   APPLICATION SIZE FEE

The application size fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.16(s) applies to any application (including any provisional applications and any reissue applications) filed under 35 U.S.C. 111 the specification (including claims) and drawings of which, excluding a sequence listing or computer program listing filed in an electronic medium in compliance with the rules (see 37 CFR 1.52(f)), exceed 100 sheets of paper. The application size fee applies for each additional 50 sheets or fraction thereof over 100 sheets of paper. The Office will count the pages of a preliminary amendment present on the filing date of the application in determining the application size fee required.Any sequence listing in an electronic medium in compliance with 37 CFR 1.52(e) and 37 CFR 1.821(c) or (e), and any computer program listing filed in an electronic medium in compliance with 37 CFR 1.52(e) and 1.96, will be excluded when determining the application size fee required by 37 CFR 1.16(s).

For purposes of determining the application size fee required by 37 CFR 1.16(s), for an application the specification (including claims) and drawings of which, excluding any sequence listing in compliance with 37 CFR 1.52(e) and 37 CFR 1.821(c) or (e), and any computer program listing filed in an electronic medium in compliance with 37 CFR 1.52(e) and 37 CFR 1.96, are submitted in whole or in part on an electronic medium other than the Office electronic filing system, each three kilobytes of content submitted on an electronic medium shall be counted as a sheet of paper. See 37 CFR 1.52(f)(1).

The paper size equivalent of the specification (including claims) and drawings of an application submitted via the Office electronic filing system will be considered to be seventy five percent of the number of sheets of paper present in the specification (including claims) and drawings of the application when entered into the Office file wrapper after being rendered by the Office electronic filing system for purposes of computing the application size fee required by 37 CFR 1.16(s). Any sequence listing in compliance with 37 CFR 1.821(c) or (e), and any computer program listing in compliance with 37 CFR 1.96, submitted via the Office electronic filing system will be excluded when determining the application size fee required by 37 CFR 1.16(s) if the listing is submitted in American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) text as part of an associated file of the application. See 37 CFR 1.52(f)(2). Sequence listings or computer program listings submitted via the Office electronic filing system in Portable Document Format (PDF) as part of the specification or as Tagg(ed) Image File Format (TIFF) drawing files would not be excluded when determining the application size fee required by 37 CFR 1.16(s).

III.   EXCESS CLAIMS FEES

37 CFR 1.16(h) sets forth the excess claims fee for each independent claim in excess of three. 37 CFR 1.16(i) sets forth the excess claims fee for each claim (whether independent or dependent) in excess of twenty. The excess claims fees specified in 37 CFR 1.16(h) and (i)

also apply to all reissue applications Under 35 U.S.C.41(a)(2), the claims in the original patent are not taken into account in determining the excess claims fee for a reissue application. The excess claims fees specified in 37 CFR 1.16(h) and (i) are required for each independent claim in excess of three that is presented in a reissue application and for each claim (whether independent or dependent) in excess of twenty that is presented in a reissue application .

Fees for a proper multiple dependent claim are calculated based on the number of claims to which the multiple dependent claim refers, 37 CFR 1.75(c), and a separate fee is required in each application containing a proper multiple dependent claim. See 37 CFR 1.16(j). For an improper multiple dependent claim, the fee charged is that charged for a single dependent claim. See MPEP § 608.01(n) for multiple dependent claims.

Upon submission of an amendment (whether entered or not) affecting the claims, payment of fees for those claims in excess of the number previously paid for is required.

Amendments before the first action, or not filed in reply to an Office action, presenting additional claims in excess of the number already paid for, not accompanied by the full additional fee due, will not be entered in whole or in part and applicant will be so advised. Such amendments filed in reply to an Office action will be regarded as not responsive thereto and the practice set forth in MPEP § 714.03 will be followed.

The additional fees, if any, due with an amendment are calculated on the basis of the claims (total and independent) which would be present, if the amendment were entered. The amendment of a claim, unless it changes a dependent claim to an independent claim or adds to the number of claims referred to in a multiple dependent claim, and the replacement of a claim by a claim of the same type, unless it is a multiple dependent claim which refers to more prior claims, do not require any additional fees.

For purposes of determining the fee due the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a claim will be treated as dependent if it contains reference to one or more other claims in the application. A claim determined to be dependent by this test will be entered if the fee paid reflects this determination.

Any claim which is in dependent form but which is so worded that it, in fact, is not a proper dependent claim, as for example it does not include every limitation of the claim on which it depends, will be required to be canceled as not being a proper dependent claim; and cancellation of any further claim depending on such a dependent claim will be similarly required. The applicant may thereupon amend the claims to place them in proper dependent form, or may redraft them as independent claims, upon payment of any necessary additional fee.

After a requirement for restriction, nonelected claims will be included in determining the fees due in connection with a subsequent amendment unless such claims are canceled.

An amendment canceling claims accompanying the papers constituting the application will be effective to diminish the number of claims to be considered in calculating the filing fees to be paid. A preliminary amendment filed concurrently with a response to a Notice To File Missing Parts of Application that required the fees set forth in 37 CFR 1.16, which preliminary amendment cancels or adds claims, will be taken into account in determining the appropriate fees due in response to the Notice To File Missing Parts of Application. No refund will be made for claims being canceled in the response that have already been paid for.

The additional fees, if any, due with an amendment are required prior to any consideration of the amendment by the examiner.

Money paid in connection with the filing of a proposed amendment will not be refunded by reason of the nonentry of the amendment. However, unentered claims will not be counted when calculating the fee due in subsequent amendments.

Amendments affecting the claims cannot serve as the basis for granting any refund. See MPEP § 607.02 subsection V for refund of excess claims fees.

Excess claims fees set forth in 37 CFR 1.20(c)(3) and (c)(4) apply to excess claims that are presented during a reexamination proceeding.

IV.   NON-ELECTRONIC FILING FEE

Section 10(h) of Public Law 112-29, Sept. 16, 2011 (the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act) provides that an additional fee of $400 ($200 for a small entity) shall be established for each application for an original (i.e., non-reissue) patent, except for a design, plant, or provisional application, not filed by electronic means. See 37 CFR 1.16(t) for the non-electronic fee applicable to applications under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) filed on or after November 15, 2011 other than by the USPTO’s electronic filing system (EFS-Web). See 37 CFR 1.445(a)(1)(ii) for the non-electronic filing fee portion of the transmittal fee due in an international application filed with the USPTO as receiving Office on or after November 15, 2011.

V.   APPLICANT DOES NOT SPECIFY FEES TO WHICH PAYMENT IS TO BE APPLIED

In situations in which a payment submitted for the fees due on filing in a nonprovisional application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) is insufficient and the applicant has not specified the fees to which the payment is to be applied, the Office will apply the payment in the following order until the payment is expended:

In situations in which a payment submitted for the fees due on filing in a provisional application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(b) is insufficient and the applicant has not specified the fees to which the payment is to be applied, the Office will apply the payment in the following order until the payment is expended:

See also MPEP § 509.

Since the basic filing fee, search fee, and examination fee under the new patent fee structure are often referred to as the “filing fee,” the Office will treat a deposit account authorization to charge “the filing fee” as an authorization to charge the applicable fees under 37 CFR 1.16 (the basic filing fee, search fee, examination fee, any excess claims fee, and any application size fee) to the deposit account. The Office will also treat a deposit account authorization to charge “the basic filing fee” as an authorization to charge the applicable basic filing fee, search fee, and examination fee to the deposit account. Any deposit account authorization to charge the filing fee but not the search fee or examination fee must specifically limit the authorization by reference to one or more of paragraphs (a) through (e) of 37 CFR 1.16. See MPEP § 509.01.

607.01   [Reserved]

607.02   Returnability of Fees [R-11.2013]

35 U.S.C. 42   Patent and Trademark Office funding

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  • (d) The Director may refund any fee paid by mistake or any amount paid in excess of that required.

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37 C.F.R. 1.26   Refunds.

  • (a) The Director may refund any fee paid by mistake or in excess of that required. A change of purpose after the payment of a fee, such as when a party desires to withdraw a patent filing for which the fee was paid, including an application, an appeal, or a request for an oral hearing, will not entitle a party to a refund of such fee. The Office will not refund amounts of twenty-five dollars or less unless a refund is specifically requested, and will not notify the payor of such amounts. If a party paying a fee or requesting a refund does not provide the banking information necessary for making refunds by electronic funds transfer (31 U.S.C. 3332 and 31 CFR part 208), or instruct the Office that refunds are to be credited to a deposit account, the Director may require such information, or use the banking information on the payment instrument to make a refund. Any refund of a fee paid by credit card will be by a credit to the credit card account to which the fee was charged.
  • (b) Any request for refund must be filed within two years from the date the fee was paid, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph or in §1.28(a). If the Office charges a deposit account by an amount other than an amount specifically indicated in an authorization (§1.25(b)), any request for refund based upon such charge must be filed within two years from the date of the deposit account statement indicating such charge, and include a copy of that deposit account statement. The time periods set forth in this paragraph are not extendable.
  • (c) If the Director decides not to institute a reexamination proceeding in response to a request for reexamination or supplemental examination, fees paid with the request for reexamination or supplemental examination will be refunded or returned in accordance with paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this section. The reexamination requester or the patent owner who requested a supplemental examination proceeding, as appropriate, should indicate the form in which any refund should be made (e.g., by check, electronic funds transfer, credit to a deposit account). Generally, refunds will be issued in the form that the original payment was provided.
    • (1) For an ex parte reexamination request, the ex parte reexamination filing fee paid by the reexamination requester, less the fee set forth in § 1.20(c)(7), will be refunded to the requester if the Director decides not to institute an ex parte reexamination proceeding.
    • (2) For an inter partes reexamination request, a refund of $7,970 will be made to the reexamination requester if the Director decides not to institute an inter partes reexamination proceeding.
    • (3) For a supplemental examination request, the fee for reexamination ordered as a result of supplemental examination, as set forth in § 1.20(k)(2), will be returned to the patent owner who requested the supplemental examination proceeding if the Director decides not to institute a reexamination proceeding.

Under 35 U.S.C. 42(d) and 37 CFR 1.26, the Office may refund: (1) a fee paid by mistake (e.g., fee paid when no fee is required); or (2) any fee paid in excess of the amount of fee that is required. See Ex parte Grady, 59 USPQ 276, 277 (Comm’r Pat. 1943) (the statutory authorization for the refund of fees under the “by mistake” clause is applicable only to a mistake relating to the fee payment).

When an applicant or patentee takes an action “by mistake” (e.g., files an application or maintains a patent in force “by mistake”), the submission of fees required to take that action (e.g., a filing fee submitted with such application or a maintenance fee submitted for such patent) is not a “fee paid by mistake” within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. 42(d).

37 CFR 1.26(a) also provides that a change of purpose after the payment of a fee, as when a party desires to withdraw the filing of a patent application for which the fee was paid, will not entitle the party to a refund of such fee.

All questions pertaining to the return of fees are referred to the Refunds Section of the Receipts Division of the Office of Finance. No opinions should be expressed to attorneys or applicants as to whether or not fees are returnable in particular cases. Such questions may also be treated, to the extent appropriate, in decisions on petition decided by various U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officials.

I.   MANNER OF MAKING A REFUND

Effective November 7, 2000, 37 CFR 1.26(a) was amended to authorize the Office to obtain the banking information necessary for making refunds by electronic funds transfer, or obtain the deposit account information to make the refund to the deposit account. If a party paying a fee or requesting a refund does not instruct the refund to be credited to a deposit account, the Office will attempt to make the refund by electronic fund transfer. The Office may (1) use the banking information on a payment instrument (e.g., a personal check) to refund an amount paid by the payment instrument in excess of that required, or (2) in other situations, require the banking information necessary for electronic funds transfer or require instructions to credit a deposit account. If it is not cost effective to require the banking information, the Office may obtain the deposit account information or simply issue any refund by treasury check.

37 CFR 1.26(a) further provides that any refund of a fee paid by credit card will be by a credit to the credit card account to which the fee was charged. The Office will not refund a fee paid by credit card by treasury check, electronic funds transfer, or credit to a deposit account.

II.   TIME PERIOD FOR REQUESTING A REFUND

Any request for a refund which is not based upon subsequent entitlement to small entity status (see 37 CFR 1.28(a)) must be filed within the two-year nonextendable time limit set forth in 37 CFR 1.26(b).

III.   FEES PAID BY DEPOSIT ACCOUNT

The Office treats authorizations to charge a deposit account as being received by the Office on the date of receipt as defined in 37 CFR 1.6 for purposes of refund payments under 37 CFR 1.26 and 37 CFR 1.28. Payment by authorization to charge a deposit account is treated for refund purposes the same as payments by other means (e.g., check or credit card charge authorization). Accordingly, the time period for requesting a refund of any fee paid by a deposit account begins on the date the charge authorization is received in the Office. For refund purposes: where a 37 CFR 1.8 certificate is used, the refund period will begin on the date of actual receipt (not the 37 CFR 1.8 date of mailing); where Express Mail under 37 CFR 1.10 is used, the “date-in” on the Express Mail label will control (not the actual date of receipt by the Office). The use of payment receipt date for refund purposes has no effect on the certificate of mailing practice under 37 CFR 1.8 for making a timely reply to an Office action.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Office charges a deposit account by an amount other than an amount specifically indicated on the charge authorization, any request for refund based upon such charge must be filed within two years from the date of the deposit account statement indicating such charge, and must include a copy of that deposit account statement. This provision of 37 CFR 1.26(b) applies, for example, in the following types of situations: (1) a deposit account charged for an extension of time pursuant to 37 CFR 1.136(a)(3) as a result of there being a prior general authorization in the application; or (2) a deposit account charged for the outstanding balance of a fee as a result of an insufficient fee submitted with an authorization to charge the deposit account for any additional fees that are due. In these situations, the party providing the charge authorization is not in a position to know the exact amount by which the deposit account will be charged until the date of the deposit account statement indicating the amount of the charge. Therefore, the two-year time period set forth in 37 CFR 1.26(b) does not begin until the date of the deposit account statement indicating the amount of the charge.

IV.   LATER ESTABLISHMENT OF SMALL ENTITY STATUS

Effective November 7, 2000, 37 CFR 1.28(a) was amended to provide a three-month period (instead of the former two-month period) for requesting a refund based on later establishment of small entity status. As the Office now treats the receipt date of a deposit account charge authorization as the fee payment date (for refund purposes), any request for a refund under 37 CFR 1.28(a) must be made within three months from the date the charge authorization is received in the Office.

V.   REFUND OF SEARCH FEE AND EXCESS CLAIMS FEE

The Office may refund the search fee and any excess claims fee paid in an application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) if applicant files a petition under 37 CFR 1.138(d) to expressly abandon the application before an examination has been made of the application. See MPEP § 711.01.

The basic filing fee, non-electronic filing fee, the examination fee, and the application size fee cannot be refunded unless the fee was paid by mistake or in excess of that required.

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Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:35