Commissioner Kappos proposes a 15% U.S. Patent and Trademark Office fee surcharge

October 7, 2009 – Firm News

Kappos sees 15 percent surcharge on USPTO patent fees in 2010 and 4-year phase in of post-grant patent review proceedings

Yesterday USPTO Director DAVID KAPPOS said during a news conference discussing the Obama administration’s October 5 letter on patent reform that he expected the administration would ask Congress for a 15 percent increase in patent fees during 2010 and perhaps part of 2011, to cover a $200 million USPTO funding shortfall. The 15 percent increase apparently would be a surcharge on all existing patent fees, so that it could be put into effect promptly. In the longer term, Kappos said, the administration is asking for rulemaking authority that would enable it to restructure the fee schedule. In response to a reporter’s question, he denied that an effort will be made to insert the 15 percent surcharge into the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill now moving through Congress. He said the fee surcharge was being recommended for the pending patent reform bills, S. 515 and H.R. 1260. On another patent reform matter, he said the administration would like to phase in the proposed post-grant review proceedings over a 4-year period. He said a limit could be placed on the number of proceedings each year during the phase-in period. From the IPO blog. The interim fee increase was first raised in Secretary Locke’s October 5 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee. This letter proposes a number of significant changes to USPTO practices (please see link to above pdf).