Leahy-Smith America Invents Act
Section 11. Fees for patent services

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A patent reform act passed by Congress on September 16, 2011.

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SEC. 11. FEES FOR PATENT SERVICES.

(a) GENERAL PATENT SERVICES.--Subsections (a) and (b) of Section 41 of title 35, United States Code, are amended to read as follows:

“(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 an 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 in 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 unintentionally abandoned application for a patent, for the unintentionally delayed payment of the fee for issuing each patent, or for an unintentionally delayed response by the patent owner in any reexamination proceeding, $1,620, unless the petition is filed under section 133 or 151, in which case the fee shall be $540.

“(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.”.

(b) DELAYS IN PAYMENT.--Subsection (c) of Section 41 of title 35, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by striking “(c)(1) The Director” and inserting:

“(c) DELAYS IN PAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE FEES.--

“(1) ACCEPTANCE.--The Director'; and

(2) by striking “(2) A patent” and inserting:

“(2) EFFECT ON RIGHTS OF OTHERS.--A patent”.

(c) PATENT SEARCH FEES.--Subsection (d) of Section 41 of title 35, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(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.”.

(d) FEES FOR SMALL ENTITIES.--Subsection (h) of Section 41 of title 35, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

“(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)(1)(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.”.

(e) TECHNICAL AMENDMENTS.--Section 41 of title 35, United States Code, is amended--

(1) in subsection (e), in the first sentence, by striking “The Director” and inserting “WAIVER OF FEES; COPIES REGARDING NOTICE.--The Director”;

(2) in subsection (f), by striking “The fees” and inserting “ADJUSTMENT OF FEES.--The fees”;

(3) by repealing subsection (g); and

(4) in subsection (i)--

(A) by striking “(i)(1) The Director” and inserting the following:

“(i) ELECTRONIC PATENT AND TRADEMARK DATA.--

“(1) MAINTENANCE OF COLLECTIONS.--The Director”;

(B) by striking “(2) The Director” and inserting the following:

“(2) AVAILABILITY OF AUTOMATED SEARCH SYSTEMS.--The Director”;

(C) by striking “(3) The Director” and inserting the following:

“(3) ACCESS FEES.--The Director”; and

(D) by striking “(4) The Director” and inserting the following:

“(4) ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS.--The Director”.

(f) ADJUSTMENT OF TRADEMARK FEES.--Section 802(a) of division B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (Public Law 108–447) is amended--

(1) in the first sentence, by striking “During fiscal years 2005, 2006, and 2007,”, and inserting “Until such time as the Director sets or adjusts the fees otherwise,”; and

(2) in the second sentence, by striking “During fiscal years 2005, 2006, and 2007, the” and inserting “The”.

(g) EFFECTIVE DATE, APPLICABILITY, AND TRANSITION PROVISIONS.--Section 803(a) of division B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (Public Law 108–447) is amended by striking “and shall apply only with respect to the remaining portion of fiscal year 2005 and fiscal year 2006”.

(h) PRIORITIZED EXAMINATION FEE.--

(1) IN GENERAL.--

(A) FEE.--

(i) PRIORITIZED EXAMINATION FEE.--A fee of $4,800 shall be established for filing a request, pursuant to Section 2(b)(2)(G) of title 35, United States Code, for prioritized examination of a nonprovisional application for an original utility or plant patent.

(ii) ADDITIONAL FEES.--In addition to the prioritized examination fee under clause (i), the fees due on an application for which prioritized examination is being sought are the filing, search, and examination fees (including any applicable excess claims and application size fees), processing fee, and publication fee for that application.

(B) REGULATIONS; LIMITATIONS.--

(i) REGULATIONS.--The Director may by regulation prescribe conditions for acceptance of a request under subparagraph (A) and a limit on the number of filings for prioritized examination that may be accepted.

(ii) LIMITATION ON CLAIMS.-- Until regulations are prescribed under clause (i), no application for which prioritized examination is requested may contain or be amended to contain more than 4 independent claims or more than 30 total claims.

(iii) LIMITATION ON TOTAL NUMBER OF REQUESTS.--The Director may not accept in any fiscal year more than 10,000 requests for prioritization until regulations are prescribed under this subparagraph setting another limit.

(2) REDUCTION IN FEES FOR SMALL ENTITIES.--The Director shall reduce fees for providing prioritized examination of nonprovisional applications for original utility and plant patents by 50 percent for small entities that qualify for reduced fees under Section 41(h)(1) of title 35, United States Code.

(3) DEPOSIT OF FEES.--All fees paid under this subsection shall be credited to the United States Patent and Trademark Office Appropriation Account, shall remain available until expended, and may be used only for the purposes specified in Section 42(c)(3)(A) of title 35, United States Code.

(4) EFFECTIVE DATE AND TERMINATION.--

(A) EFFECTIVE DATE.--This subsection shall take effect on the date that is 10 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(B) TERMINATION.--The fee imposed under paragraph (1)(A)(i), and the reduced fee under paragraph (2), shall terminate on the effective date of the setting or adjustment of the fee under paragraph (1)(A)(i) pursuant to the exercise of the authority under section 10 for the first time with respect to that fee.

(i) APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT TRANSITION FEES.--

(1) SURCHARGE.--

(A) IN GENERAL.--There shall be a surcharge of 15 percent, rounded by standard arithmetic rules, on all fees charged or authorized by subsections (a), (b), and (d)(1) of section 41, and section 132(b), of title 35, United States Code. Any surcharge imposed under this subsection is, and shall be construed to be, separate from and in addition to any other surcharge imposed under this Act or any other provision of law.

(B) DEPOSIT OF AMOUNTS.--Amounts collected pursuant to the surcharge imposed under subparagraph (A) shall be credited to the United States Patent and Trademark Appropriation Account, shall remain available until expended, and may be used only for the purposes specified in Section 42(c)(3)(A) of title 35, United States Code.

(2) EFFECTIVE DATE AND TERMINATION OF SURCHARGE.--The surcharge provided for in paragraph (1)--

(A) shall take effect on the date that is 10 days after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(B) shall terminate, with respect to a fee to which paragraph (1)(A) applies, on the effective date of the setting or adjustment of that fee pursuant to the exercise of the authority under section 10 for the first time with respect to that fee.

(j) EFFECTIVE DATE.--Except as otherwise provided in this section, this section and the amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.