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|Top of Notices (84) December 31, 2013||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1397 CNOG 228|
|Fees, Deposit Accounts, Credit Cards, Refunds, etc.||Referenced Items (84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112)|
(84) New Maintenance Fee Payment by E-Mail Pilot Program Effective Date: Effective upon publication of this notice. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is conducting a pilot program for the electronic submission and processing of multiple maintenance fee payments delivered to the Office in a single submission. Maintenance fee payments under the pilot program will be submitted by e-mail with e-mail attachments that meet particular format requirements. Only maintenance fee payments made using a deposit account as set forth in 37 CFR 1.25 will be accepted under this new maintenance fee payment pilot program. Until now, the only way to pay patent maintenance fees electronically was the on-line maintenance fee payment system found at the "Office of Finance On-Line Shopping Page" of the Office's Web site (www.uspto.gov). Users of the on-line maintenance fee payment system can pay one maintenance fee at a time using a deposit account, credit card or electronic funds transfer (EFT). The Office is currently developing an on-line maintenance fee payment system that will improve upon the current system in two respects. First, the future on-line maintenance fee payment system will be able to accept multiple maintenance fee payments (i.e., bulk payments) in a single transaction. Second, the future on-line payment system will be able to accept certifications changing entity status (e.g., from large entity to small entity) to enable maintenance fee payments to be paid in the amount corresponding to the changed entity status. The current on-line maintenance fee payment system will only accept payments in the amount corresponding to the entity status of record at the time of payment. The planned future on-line maintenance fee payment system would require the bulk maintenance fee submitter to send a text file in a particular format identifying the patents to be maintained in force. Because the pilot program is intended to test the concept of the future on-line maintenance fee payment system, the same kind of text file planned for the future on-line maintenance fee payment system will be required under the new pilot program. Maintenance fee payments made under the new pilot program, however, will be submitted via e-mail rather than on-line via the Internet. Even though the new pilot program should be particularly useful to firms and companies that routinely make bulk maintenance fee payments at the USPTO, the e-mail pilot program is available to all maintenance fee submitters having deposit accounts with the USPTO. The maintenance fee payment by e-mail pilot program is the only exception to the prohibition against paying patent fees by e-mail. However, maintenance fee payments by e-mail will also not be accepted by the Office even during the duration of the pilot program unless the e-mail is sent to MFbulkpayment@uspto.gov and contains an attachment meeting the requirements set forth on the following webpage of the USPTO Web site: http://www.uspto.gov/about/offices/cfo/finance/bulkinstructions_pilotprogram. pdf. No maintenance fee payment will be accepted via e-mail unless the instructions contained on that webpage are followed. This pilot program will run for at least six months from its effective date. The Office may extend, terminate, revise or otherwise take appropriate action after evaluating its effectiveness at the end of that period. Please direct any comments or inquiries regarding this pilot program notice to Matthew Lee by telephone at 571-272-6343 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Note that this is not the e-mail address at which maintenance fee payments meeting the pilot program requirements will be accepted. ANTHONY P. SCARDINO Chief Financial Officer United States Patent and Trademark Office [1386 OG 58]