Since our communication of December 20, 2022, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has again delayed implementation of the $400 non-DOCX filing surcharge fee—this time until April 3, 2023. The USPTO indicated that it “is now further delaying the effective date for the fee to give applicants more time to adjust to filing patent applications in DOCX format.” According to the USPTO, “[i]mmediate implementation of the delay in effective date of the fee is in the public interest because it will provide the public an opportunity to more fully comprehend the nature of, and prepare to comply with, the DOCX format before the new fee … is effective.”
Details are provided in the Federal Register to be published on December 29, 2022. The pre-publication version is available here: https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2022-28436.pdf.
We will keep you updated as more information about the USPTO DOCX transition becomes available.