As mentioned on Monday, the proposed rule package for supplemental examination is expected this week; in fact, it will publish tomorrow. In addition to the expected rule package on the new supplemental examination proceeding, the USPTO has included proposed revisions to existing patent reexamination fees.
The existing fee for requesting ex parte patent reexamination is $2520. The Notice proposes to raise this fee, to account for actual agency costs for conducting the proceeding, to a whopping $17,750. The notice also raises the fees for filing a petition (using the same justification) in either ex parte or inter partes patent reexamination to $1932. This new fee will apply to any petition filed under Rules 181,182, or 183. (The petition fee increase excludes extensions of time and some other minor petitions). Current fees are on the order of $200-$400. It may be that the increase in petition fees will help reign in the abusive practices currently plaguing the Office.
Certainly the Office should raise reexamination fees as they are presently quite low, but the jump to the proposed levels, especially as it relates to the hefty request fees, is unlikely to be received very favorably by the public. Read the rest of this entry »