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Free Resource

September 25, 2020

The USPTO Has Updated Their Fees (October 2020)

 

For the first time in three years, the USPTO has raised their fees. For the most part, the fee increase is fairly minor. However, for those who already think patents are expensive, this is not a welcome sight. The increased fees will be in effect starting October 2nd, 2020. Therefore, if you would like to avoid the additional fees be sure to file your patent application(s) before October 2nd.

 

Unfortunately, applicants will not be able to avoid the USPTO’s fee increase. However, the USPTO does institute an “entity status” program, which offers discounts to certain applicants. This program allows applicants that qualify for the Small and Micro Entity Status to receive discounts on most of their application filing fees. In order to qualify for Small or Micro Entity Status, an applicant must meet the applicable requirements detailed below:

 

  1. Large Entity Status
    1. Every applicant that does not meet the requirements for small or micro entity status is automatically considered large entity status.
  2. Small Entity Status
    1. Each entity that holds rights to the patent application (including licensing rights) total number of employees (including affiliates) cannot exceed 500 people.
  3. Micro Entity Status
    1. All entities that hold rights to the patent application (including licensing rights) must meet the requirements for Small Entity Status.
    2. The applicant(s) and inventor(s) mentioned in the patent application must not have been named as an inventor on more than 4 previously filed patent applications.
    3. All entities that hold rights to the patent application (including licensing rights) must not have earned a gross income that exceeds 3 times the median household income in the last calendar year.
      1. OR
    4. All entities that hold rights to the patent application (including licensing rights) must meet the requirements for Small Entity Status.
    5. The applicant(s) are employed by and earn a majority of their income from an institution of higher education (college or university).
      1. OR
    6. All entities that hold rights to the patent application (including licensing rights) must meet the requirements for Small Entity Status.
    7. The applicant(s) share the rights to their patent application with an institution of higher education (college or university).

 

To help you determine your entity status we have created a simple flowchart. Follow the flowchart displayed in Figure 1 until you are directed to a white bubble. The white bubble you end on will identify your entity status.

Figure 1

 

For your convenience, we have compiled all of the most important fees recently updated by the USPTO. Each different type of patent usually comes with varying fees and therefore varying overall costs. In Figure 2 below, you will find the new total costs of the application filing fees for each type of patent (this table includes filing fees alone, and does not include the cost to have an application drafted or filed by a patent professional). In Figure 3 below, you will find the new costs of the most common additional fees associated with utility patent applications. Keep in mind, these are all only the filing fees. Once a patent is granted, a few more fees are involved including, a patent issue fee and patent maintenance fees.

 

Updated Patent Application Filing Fees (as of October 2020)
Type of Patent Large Entity Fee Small Entity Fee Micro Entity Fee Net Change
Provisional Patent Filing Fee $300.00 $150.00 $75.00 +$20/$10/$5
Utility Patent Fees (Electronic Filing) $1,820.00 $830.00 $455.00 +$100/$45/$25
Utility Patent Fees (Non Electronic Filing) $2,220.00 $1,110.00 $655.00 +$100/$50/$25
Design Patent Fees $1,020.00 $510.00 $255.00 +$60/$30/$15
Plant Patent Fees $1,320.00 $660.00 $330.00 +$80/$40/$20
PCT Patent Fees (Non Electronic Filing) $4,286.00 $2,866.00 $2,256.00 +$214/$154/$124
PCT Patent Fees (Electronic Filing Without ePCT or PCT-Easy .zip file) $3,777.00 $2,557.00 $1,947.00 +$207/$147/$117
PCT Patent Fees (Electronic Filing With ePCT or PCT-Easy .zip file) $3,669.00 $2,449.00 $1,839.00 +$200/$140/$110

Figure 2

 

Updated Common Additional Utility Patent Fees (as of October 2020)
Description Large Entity Fee Small Entity Fee Micro Entity Fee Net Change
Late Fee (Surcharge) $160.00 $80.00 $40.00 $0
Each Independent Claim in Excess of 3 Fee $480.00 $240.00 $120.00 +$20/$10/$5
Each Claim in Excess of 20 Fee $100.00 $50.00 $25.00 $0
Multiple Dependent Claim Fee $860.00 $430.00 $215.00 +$40/$20/$10
Application Size Fee $420.00 $210.00 $105.00 +$20/$10/$5
Non-English Fee $140.00 $70.00 $35.00 $0

Figure 3

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