August's advice article
Now Available: Financial Manager and Patent Maintenance Fees Storefront
Earlier this year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) launched two new online fee payment tools: Financial Manager and the Patent Maintenance Fees Storefront. Financial Manager is an easy-to-use online fee payment management system for USPTO customers. It provides flexible options that make submitting and keeping track of payments faster and more efficient. The new Patent Maintenance Fees Storefront makes viewing and paying patent maintenance fees easy and intuitive.
What’s New in Financial Manager?
In Financial Manager, customers can store payment methods, including credit cards, deposit accounts, and electronic funds transfers (EFTs). This makes paying fees more efficient by allowing users to select a stored payment method to check out instead of reentering payment information each time a fee is paid.
The new user permissions feature allows multiple Financial Manager users to access, help manage, or pay fees using a stored payment method. Permission levels include “administrator,” “fee payer,” and “reporter.” A fourth permission level, “funds manager,” applies to deposit accounts only. These permissions are flexible and easy to change; users can have one or multiple permissions, allowing for combinations that best suit their business needs.
Financial Manager provides email notifications to help administrators keep track of changes made to stored payment methods. These include updates to payment method details (e.g., billing address), status (e.g., active or inactive), and user permissions. A detailed list of administrative updates, including information regarding which user made a particular change, is also available to administrators in the Administrative History section.
With a few clicks, reporters can generate and export reports, such as recent transactions and monthly statements, for each stored payment method. These reports are available as Excel, PDF, or CSV files and can be customized to display tailored information.
What’s New in the Patent Maintenance Fees Storefront?
The Patent Maintenance Fees Storefront allows customers to view and pay up to 10 patent maintenance fees at once. Customers can view all maintenance fee due dates for specific patents and easily determine whether or not payment is needed to keep the patents in good standing. Customers can also check on previously paid patent maintenance fees by quickly pulling up a statement showing what patent maintenance fees have been paid, payment amounts, and payment dates.
In the new Patent Maintenance Fees Storefront, signed-in users with fee payer permission for a stored payment method have access to convenient payment options. After selecting one or more patent maintenance fees to pay, signed-in fee payers can quickly check out using a stored payment method from Financial Manager. A new online shopping cart also makes it possible to save fees for later payment and continue searching for additional fees.
The new Patent Maintenance Fees Storefront is the first of many USPTO storefronts to allow customers to check out using a stored payment method. Eventually, USPTO customers will be able to complete most financial activities online with speed and accuracy.
Want to Learn More?
Visit www.uspto.gov/financialmanager and www.uspto.gov/patentmaintenancefees to learn more about these new fee payment tools and to access a list of frequently asked questions. Additional resources are also available on our Fee Payment Transition Resources page. New information will be added to these webpages on an ongoing basis, so check back frequently and stay up-to-date on the latest news!