USPTO to raise certain fees 20% or more

With most increases set to take effect October 2, 2020.  FR 46932 USPTO Fee Increase, Table of Patent Fee Adjustments-FY2020 Final Rule

The fee for a one month extension of time is increasing by 10% to $220, the fee for an IDS after receipt of a first office action is increasing 8% to $260, and the fees for first and second RCE’s and forwarding an appeal to the Board are increasing by 5%.

If you are a big design filer, and make use of the PTO’s expedited examination process, you may want to file as many of your 2020 applications as possible by October 1, as on October 2 the fee for Requests for Expedited Examination of a Design application will be increasing 78% – from $900 to $1600.

Significantly larger increases are in store for issue and maintenance fees – the issue fee for a utility patent is increasing by 20% to $1200 and the first maintenance fee is increasing 25% from $1600 to $2000.  If you haven’t culled your portfolio in a while, you may want to make some time to take a look before October 2.  God forbid you need more time beyond each deadline to decide what to maintain – the surcharge for late payment of each maintenance fee is increasing by 213% – from $160 to $500.

Increases as least in the latter seem inconsistent with state of the law in connection with §101, not to mention the uncertainty in the validity of any PTAB decisions given the Arthrex decision, and In re Boloro Global extending that decision to ex parte appeals.