35 U.S.C. 41: Patent fees; patent and trademark search systems

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2015, Last Revised in November 2015

Current AIA Redline

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35 U.S.C. 41    Patent fees; patent and trademark search systems.

  • (a) GENERAL FEES. — The Director shall charge the following fees:
    • (1) FILING AND BASIC NATIONAL FEES. —
      • (A) On filing each application for an original patent, except for design, plant, or provisional applications, $330.
      • (B) On filing each application for an original design patent, $220.
      • (C) On filing each application for an original plant patent, $220.
      • (D) On filing each provisional application for an original patent, $220.
      • (E) On filing each application for the reissue of a patent, $330.
      • (F) The basic national fee for each international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) entering the national stage under section 371, $330.
      • (G) In addition, excluding any sequence listing or computer program listing filed in electronic medium as prescribed by the Director, for any application the specification and drawings of which exceed 100 sheets of paper (or equivalent as prescribed by the Director if filed in an electronic medium), $270 for each additional 50 sheets of paper (or equivalent as prescribed by the Director if filed in an electronic medium) or fraction thereof.
    • (2) EXCESS CLAIMS FEES. —
      • (A) IN GENERAL. — In addition to the fee specified in paragraph (1) —
        • (i) on filing or on presentation at any other time, $220 for each claim in independent form in excess of 3;
        • (ii) on filing or on presentation at any other time, $52 for each claim (whether dependent or independent) in excess of 20; and
        • (iii) for each application containing a multiple dependent claim, $390.
      • (B) MULTIPLE DEPENDENT CLAIMS.— For the purpose of computing fees under subparagraph (A), a multiple dependent claim referred to in section 112 or any claim depending therefrom shall be considered as separate dependent claims in accordance with the number of claims to which reference is made.
      • (C) REFUNDS; ERRORS IN PAYMENT.— The Director may by regulation provide for a refund of any part of the fee specified in subparagraph (A) for any claim that is canceled before an examination on the merits, as prescribed by the Director, has been made of the application under section 131. Errors in payment of the additional fees under this paragraph may be rectified in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Director.
    • (3) EXAMINATION FEES. —
      • (A) IN GENERAL.—
        • (i) For examination of each application for an original patent, except for design, plant, provisional, or international applications, $220.
        • (ii) For examination of each application for an original design patent, $140.
        • (iii) For examination of each application for an original plant patent, $170.
        • (iv) For examination of the national stage of each international application, $220.
        • (v) For examination of each application for the reissue of a patent, $650.
      • (B) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER FEE PROVISIONS.— The provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 111(a) relating to the payment of the fee for filing the application shall apply to the payment of the fee specified in subparagraph (A) with respect to an application filed under section 111(a). The provisions of section 371(d) relating to the payment of the national fee shall apply to the payment of the fee specified subparagraph (A) with respect to an international application.
    • (4) ISSUE FEES. —
      • (A) For issuing each original patent, except for design or plant patents, $1,510.
      • (B) For issuing each original design patent, $860.
      • (C) For issuing each original plant patent, $1,190.
      • (D) For issuing each reissue patent, $1,510.
    • (5) DISCLAIMER FEE. — On filing each disclaimer, $140.
    • (6) APPEAL FEES. —
      • (A) On filing an appeal from the examiner to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, $540.
      • (B) In addition, on filing a brief in support of the appeal, $540, and on requesting an oral hearing in the appeal before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, $1,080.
    • (7) REVIVAL FEES. — On filing each petition for the revival of an abandoned application for a patent, for the delayed payment of the fee for issuing each patent, for the delayed response by the patent owner in any reexamination proceeding, for the delayed payment of the fee for maintaining a patent in force, for the delayed submission of a priority or benefit claim, or for the extension of the 12-month period for filing a subsequent application, $1,700.00. The Director may refund any part of the fee specified in this paragraph, in exceptional circumstances as determined by the Director.
    • (8) EXTENSION FEES. — For petitions for 1-month extensions of time to take actions required by the Director in an application —
      • (A) on filing a first petition, $130;
      • (B) on filing a second petition, $360; and
      • (C) on filing a third or subsequent petition, $620.
  • (b) MAINTENANCE FEES. —
    • (1) IN GENERAL.— The Director shall charge the following fees for maintaining in force all patents based on applications filed on or after December 12, 1980:
      • (A) Three years and 6 months after grant, $980.
      • (B) Seven years and 6 months after grant, $2,480.
      • (C) Eleven years and 6 months after grant, $4,110.
    • (2) GRACE PERIOD; SURCHARGE.— Unless payment of the applicable maintenance fee under paragraph (1) is received in the Office on or before the date the fee is due or within a grace period of 6 months thereafter, the patent shall expire as of the end of such grace period. The Director may require the payment of a surcharge as a condition of accepting within such 6-month grace period the payment of an applicable maintenance fee.
    • (3) NO MAINTENANCE FEE FOR DESIGN OR PLANT PATENT.— No fee may be established for maintaining a design or plant patent in force.
  • (c) DELAYS IN PAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE FEES.—
    • (1) ACCEPTANCE.—The Director may accept the payment of any maintenance fee required by subsection (b) after the 6-month grace period if the delay is shown to the satisfaction of the Director to have been unintentional. The Director may require the payment of the fee specified in subsection (a)(7) as a condition of accepting payment of any maintenance fee after the 6-month grace period. If the Director accepts payment of a maintenance fee after the 6-month grace period, the patent shall be considered as not having expired at the end of the grace period.
    • (2) EFFECT ON RIGHTS OF OTHERS.— A patent, the term of which has been maintained as a result of the acceptance of a payment of a maintenance fee under this subsection, shall not abridge or affect the right of any person or that person’s successors in business who made, purchased, offered to sell, or used anything protected by the patent within the United States, or imported anything protected by the patent into the United States after the 6-month grace period but prior to the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, to continue the use of, to offer for sale, or to sell to others to be used, offered for sale, or sold, the specific thing so made, purchased, offered for sale, used, or imported. The court before which such matter is in question may provide for the continued manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale of the thing made, purchased, offered for sale, or used within the United States, or imported into the United States, as specified, or for the manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale in the United States of which substantial preparation was made after the 6-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, and the court may also provide for the continued practice of any process that is practiced, or for the practice of which substantial preparation was made, after the 6-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection, to the extent and under such terms as the court deems equitable for the protection of investments made or business commenced after the 6-month grace period but before the acceptance of a maintenance fee under this subsection.
  • (d) PATENT SEARCH AND OTHER FEES. —
    • (1) PATENT SEARCH FEES. —
      • (A) IN GENERAL.— The Director shall charge the fees specified under subparagraph (B) for the search of each application for a patent, except for provisional applications. The Director shall adjust the fees charged under this paragraph to ensure that the fees recover an amount not to exceed the estimated average cost to the Office of searching applications for patent by Office personnel.
      • (B) SPECIFIC FEES.—The fees referred to in subparagraph (A) are—
        • (i) $540 for each application for an original patent, except for design, plant, provisional, or international applications;
        • (ii) $100 for each application for an original design patent;
        • (iii) $330 for each application for an original plant patent;
        • (iv) $540 for the national stage of each international application; and
        • (v) $540 for each application for the reissue of a patent.
      • (C) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER PROVISIONS.— The provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 111(a) relating to the payment of the fee for filing the application shall apply to the payment of the fee specified in this paragraph with respect to an application filed under section 111(a). The provisions of section 371(d) relating to the payment of the national fee shall apply to the payment of the fee specified in this paragraph with respect to an international application.
      • (D) REFUNDS.— The Director may by regulation provide for a refund of any part of the fee specified in this paragraph for any applicant who files a written declaration of express abandonment as prescribed by the Director before an examination has been made of the application under section 131.
    • (2) OTHER FEES.—
      • (A) IN GENERAL.— The Director shall establish fees for all other processing, services, or materials relating to patents not specified in this section to recover the estimated average cost to the Office of such processing, services, or materials, except that the Director shall charge the following fees for the following services:
        • (i) For recording a document affecting title, $40 per property.
        • (ii) For each photocopy, $.25 per page.
        • (iii) For each black and white copy of a patent, $3.
      • (B) COPIES FOR LIBRARIES.—The yearly fee for providing a library specified in section 12 with uncertified printed copies of the specifications and drawings for all patents in that year shall be $50.
  • (e) WAIVER OF FEES; COPIES REGARDING NOTICE.— The Director may waive the payment of any fee for any service or material related to patents in connection with an occasional or incidental request made by a department or agency of the Government, or any officer thereof. The Director may provide any applicant issued a notice under section 132 with a copy of the specifications and drawings for all patents referred to in that notice without charge.
  • (f) ADJUSTMENT OF FEES.— The fees established in subsections (a) and (b) of this section may be adjusted by the Director on October 1, 1992, and every year thereafter, to reflect any fluctuations occurring during the previous 12 months in the Consumer Price Index, as determined by the Secretary of Labor. Changes of less than 1 per centum may be ignored.
  • (g) [Repealed.]
  • (h) FEES FOR SMALL ENTITIES.—
    • (1) REDUCTIONS IN FEES.— Subject to paragraph (3), fees charged under subsections (a), (b) and (d)(1) shall be reduced by 50 percent with respect to their application to any small business concern as defined under section 3 of the Small Business Act, and to any independent inventor or nonprofit organization as defined in regulations issued by the Director.
    • (2) SURCHARGES AND OTHER FEES.— With respect to its application to any entity described in paragraph (1), any surcharge or fee charged under subsection (c) or (d) shall not be higher than the surcharge or fee required of any other entity under the same or substantially similar circumstances.
    • (3) REDUCTION FOR ELECTRONIC FILING.— The fee charged under subsection (a)(l)(A) shall be reduced by 75 percent with respect to its application to any entity to which paragraph (1) applies, if the application is filed by electronic means as prescribed by the Director.
  • (i) ELECTRONIC PATENT AND TRADEMARK DATA.—
    • (1) MAINTENANCE OF COLLECTIONS.— The Director shall maintain, for use by the public, paper, microform or electronic collections of United States patents, foreign patent documents, and United States trademark registrations arranged to permit search for and retrieval of information. The Director may not impose fees directly for the use of such collections, or for the use of the public patent and trademark search rooms or libraries.
    • (2) AVAILABILITY OF AUTOMATED SEARCH SYSTEMS.— The Director shall provide for the full deployment of the automated search systems of the Patent and Trademark Office so that such systems are available for use by the public, and shall assure full access by the public to, and dissemination of, patent and trademark information, using a variety of automated methods, including electronic bulletin boards and remote access by users to mass storage and retrieval systems.
    • (3) ACCESS FEES.— The Director may establish reasonable fees for access by the public to the automated search systems of the Patent and Trademark Office. If such fees are established, a limited amount of free access shall be made available to users of the systems for purposes of education and training. The Director may waive the payment by an individual of fees authorized by this subsection upon a showing of need or hardship, and if such waiver is in the public interest.
    • (4) ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS.— The Director shall submit to the Congress an annual report on the automated search systems of the Patent and Trademark Office and the access by the public to such systems. The Director shall also publish such report in the Federal Register. The Director shall provide an opportunity for the submission of comments by interested persons on each such report.

(Amended July 24, 1965, Public Law 89-83, sec. 1, 2, 79 Stat. 259; Jan. 2, 1975, Public Law 93-596, sec. 1, Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Nov. 14, 1975, Public Law 94-131, sec. 3, 89 Stat. 690; subsection (g) amended Dec. 12, 1980, Public Law 96-517, sec. 2, 94 Stat. 3017; Aug. 27, 1982, Public Law 97-247, sec. 3(a)-(e), 96 Stat. 317; subsections (a)-(d) amended Sept. 8, 1982, Public Law 97-256, sec. 101, 96 Stat. 816; subsection (a)(6) amended Nov. 8, 1984, Public Law 98-622, sec. 204(a), 98 Stat. 3388; subsection (h) added Nov. 6, 1986, Public Law 99-607, sec. 1(b)(2), 100 Stat. 3470; subsections (a), (b), (d), (f), and (g) amended Dec. 10, 1991, Public Law 102-204, sec. 5, 105 Stat. 1637; subsections (a)(9) - (15) and (i) added Dec. 10, 1991, Public Law 102-204, sec. 5, 105 Stat. 1637; subsection (c)(1) amended Oct. 23, 1992, Public Law 102-444, sec. 1, 106 Stat. 2245; subsection (a)(1)(C) added Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 532(b)(2), 108 Stat. 4986; subsection (c)(2) amended, Dec. 8, 1994, Public Law 103-465, sec. 533(b)(1), 108 Stat. 4988; subsections (a)-(b) revised Nov. 10, 1998, Public Law 105-358, sec. 3, 112 Stat. 3272.; amended Nov. 29, 1999, Public Law 106-113, sec. 1000(a)(9), 113 Stat. 1501A-554, 570, 582, 589 (S. 1948 secs. 4202, 4605(a), 4732(a)(5), 4732(a)(10)(A)) and 4804(d)); amended Sept. 16, 2011, Public Law 112-29, secs. 11 (effective Sept. 16, 2011) and 20(j) (effective Sept. 16, 2012), 125 Stat. 284; subsections (a)(7) and (c)(1) amended Dec. 18, 2012, Public Law 112-211, sec. 202(b)(1), 126 Stat. 1535.)