Changes to Implement Micro Entity Status for Paying Patent Fees
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing to amend the rules of practice in patent cases to implement the micro entity provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. Certain patent fees set or adjusted under the fee setting authority in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act will be reduced by seventy-five percent for micro entities. The Office is proposing changes to the rules of practice to set out the procedures pertaining to claiming micro entity status, paying patent fees as a micro entity, notification of loss of micro entity status, and correction of payments of patent fees paid erroneously in the micro entity amount. In a separate rulemaking, the Office is in the process of proposing to set or adjust patent fees under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, including setting fees for micro entities with a seventy-five percent reduction.
CPI Adjustment of Patent Fees for Fiscal Year 2013
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing to adjust certain patent fee amounts for fiscal year 2013 to reflect fluctuations in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The patent statute provides for the annual CPI adjustment of patent fees set by statute to recover the higher costs associated with doing business as reflected by the CPI.
Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS) Pilot Program
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing a pilot program intended to reduce pendency and applicant costs when an information disclosure statement (IDS) is filed after payment of the issue fee. This pilot program will permit an examiner to consider an IDS after payment of the issue fee without the need to reopen prosecution, effectively obviating the need to pursue a request for continued examination (RCE). Where the examiner determines that no item of information in the IDS necessitates reopening prosecution, the Office will issue a corrected notice of allowability. In addition to reducing pendency, this pilot program will promote efficiency in the examination process. There will be no fee required to use this program, beyond existing fees, e.g., fees for IDS submission.
Public Advisory Committees
On November 29, 1999, the President signed into law the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act (the ``Act''), Public Law 106-113, which, among other things, established two Public Advisory Committees to review the policies, goals, performance, budget and user fees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and to advise the Director on these matters (now codified at 35 U.S.C. 5). The USPTO is requesting nominations for three (3) members to the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and two (2) members to the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, for terms of three years that begin on expiration of the predecessors' terms.