Higher Fees Are On The Way, Happy New Year.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will increase its patent fees for fiscal year 2013.  Although these fee increases generally take place every year, they may particularly harder to swallow given that the current fees reflect a 15% increase that occurred in September 2011, as required by the America Invents Act.

Section 41(f) of Title 35 of the United States Code authorizes the USPTO to adjust certain statutory patent fees to reflect fluctuations during the preceding twelve months in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The purpose of this provision is to allow the USPTO to recover higher costs of providing services as reflected by the CPI.

Since the USPTO has not yet exercised its new fee-setting authority under the AIA, the USPTO proposes that this CPI increase be implemented on October 1, 2012. According to the USPTO, “The interim increase in fees is necessary to allow the USPTO to meet its strategic goals within the time frame outlined in the FY 2013 President’s Budget. The interim fee increase is a bridge to provide resources until the USPTO exercises its fee-setting authority and develops a new fee structure that will provide sufficient financial resources in the long term.”

Assuming an increase of 2.9%, below are several examples of possible fee adjustments:

  • Utility patent application basic filing fee: $390 (increase of $10)
  • Utility patent examination fee: $260 (increase of $10)
  • Provisional application filing fee: $260 (increase of $10)
  • Maintenance fees: increased $30 at the first stage, $80 at the second stage, and $140 at the third stage.

Of course, these are not the last of the fee changes. As the USPTO notes, “[AIA] Section 10 fee-setting will be addressed in a future proposal.”

How Can I Help?

I can help you figure out the best, most cost efficient strategy for protecting you intellectual property, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Virtual Patent Marking.

As part of efforts to improve the patent process, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) modernizes the ways that patent holders may mark their products. It specifically allows patent owners to mark their products with an Internet address that provides the patent numbers associated with the product.

Patent marking is important because, without it, a patent holder may have a more difficult time proving infringement. Under 35 U.S.C. 287 (a), if a patent holder fails to properly mark a patented invention, “no damages shall be recovered by the patentee in any action of infringement, except on proof that the infringer was notified of the infringement and continued to infringe thereafter, in which event damages may be recovered only for the infringement occurring after such notice.”

Under the existing statute, patentees had to mark their products by puting  the word “patent” or the abbreviation “pat.” on the invention along with the patent number. If this could not be done easily, a notice could be provided by fixing a label containing the information to the article or to the package containing the article.  However, if there was more than one patented item in the object being sold, like a computer, or a smartphone, the amount of space required makes marking very difficult.

The AIA allows a patent holder to virtually mark the article “by fixing on the article the word ‘patent’ or the abbreviation ‘pat.’ together with an address of a posting on the Internet, accessible to the public without charge for accessing the address, that associates the patented article with the number of the patent.”

The amended statute highlights that listing patents on a company’s website, by itself, is not sufficient to comply with the virtual marking permitted under § 287(a). The patent holder must still mark its product with the word “patent” in order to be afforded protection under the law.

How Can I Help?

Patent marking is an important part of the patent process. In fact, it is integral to protecting your rights. I work with clients in all phases of patent procurement, including patent marking. If you need help to marking your patented invention, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman