Begins process mandated by the America Invents Act’s fee setting provisions to deliver on promises to the IP community and achieve long term financial stability
Washington – Under the America Invents Act (AIA), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), for the first time in its history, was given the authority to work with IP stakeholders to set fees through the regulatory process. The agency took a first step towards that end this week when it published proposed fees for all of the patent services it provides. See Table of Patent Fee Changes and Executive Summary: Patent Fee Proposal.
“The new fee setting authority provided by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) has presented the USPTO with a tremendous opportunity to continue improving our nation’s intellectual property (IP) system,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “We take this responsibility very seriously. The fee schedule we have published represents only an initial proposal and is far from final. We invite feedback and recommendations from the public and look forward to a meaningful dialogue over the coming months as we work to set these fees at the optimal levels,” he continued.
Throughout the fee setting process, the USPTO will be guided by two overriding principles:
First, the agency must operate within a more sustainable funding model than it has in the past to avoid disruptions in agency operations caused by fluctuations in the economy. Doing so requires that the fees charged for services more closely reflect the actual cost of delivering those services. This cost must responsibly account for both planned expenses and unanticipated events.
Second, the USPTO is adhering to the strategic imperative set by its user community to dramatically reduce patent pendency and the backlog of unexamined patent applications in accord with the USPTO 2010 – 2015 Strategic Plan.
The USPTO has published a proposed patent fee schedule and related supplementary information for public viewing at www.uspto.gov/americainventsact. A Federal Register Notice was published on January 30, 2012 announcing the dates and logistics for two Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) public hearings regarding the proposed patent fees to be held February 15 and 23, 2012 in Alexandria, Virginia and Sunnyvale, California, respectively. Transcripts of the hearings will be available at www.uspto.gov/americainventsact shortly after the hearings.
The USPTO invites feedback and recommendations and encourages stakeholders to examine the methodology and highlight any areas where the Agency’s calculations, assumptions, or methods may be improved. This open dialogue will enhance the final product and help to ensure that the end result represents the best path forward for the U.S. patent system.