Proposed Rule Package to Significantly Hike Fees

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.

The fee for filing a request for supplemental examination, and the corresponding reexamination that follows will cost filers. $21,296 ($5,180 for the request and $16,116 for the reexamination, if instituted). The Office is also charging extra for the review of documents that exceed 20 and 50 pages; an extra $166 for the former and $282 for the latter.

As I mentioned months back, the rumored cost of Inter Partes Review and Post Grant Review is upward of $48K per filing. Looking at these revisions to patent reexamination filing fees, one can expect higher fees for these more labor intensive office proceedings.

Tomorrow’s Federal Register will detail these fee changes and the rules for supplemental examination. Attached is a copy of the rules that will publish tomorrow (here)…more thoughts tomorrow.