Top of Notices Top of Notices   (90)  December 30, 2014 US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE Print This Notice 1409 CNOG  234 

Fees, Deposit Accounts, Credit Cards, Refunds, etc. Referenced Items (90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118)
(90)          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 ( 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 and contains an attachment meeting the requirements
set forth on the following webpage of the USPTO Web site:
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 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

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