Tuesday, 06 April 2010 19:50

PTO CONSIDERS DEFERRED PATENT FEE PROGRAM (AND DEFERRED EXAMINATION) - YOUR THOUGHTS?

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is considering a new program which will provide applicants the option to defer payment of a considerable portion of the fees due upon filing certain U.S. patent applications for up to 12-months. The program is intended to allow applicants additional time to evaluate the market potential of their invention, before incurring the full costs of pursuing a U.S. patent.
 
The fee deferral program is proposed for applicants filing non-provisional applications which claim priority to a provisional patent application, within the 12-month provisional period.  Applicants electing to take advantage of the deferred fee option would not be entitled to file a Request for Non-Publication with the non-provisional application. Under the proposal, applicants would only be required to pay the basis filing fee, currently $330 (or $165 for small entities), and would be allowed up to 12-months from filing a qualifying non-provisional patent application to pay the search and examination fees, currently $760 (or $380 for a small entity), along with a surcharge and any additional fees which may have been incurred.  Of course, until the additional fees have been paid, the application will not be placed into the queue for examination by the PTO.
 
In addition to deferring fees for applicants,, the PTO believes the program, if implemented, will help decrease the backlog of pending applications, as at least some portion of applicants filing under the proposed program are expected to simply allow their applications to go abandoned.
 
The PTO is seeking public comment on this proposed program, so let them know what you think!
 
For more information click here.
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John Fulton, Jr.

Mr. Fulton is a Registered Patent Attorney and Senior Counsel with Malloy & Malloy, P.L., Board Certified in Intellectual Property Law, and rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. His practice includes all aspects of Intellectual Property Law with a focus on patent and trademark prosecution and related transactional matters, and patent infringement litigation. He has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Cleveland State University, and obtained considerable engineering experience prior to receiving his law degree, with honors, from the University of Miami School of Law. In addition to the Florida Bar, he is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Florida, the Middle District of Florida, and the Eastern District of Texas, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eleventh and Federal Circuits. Mr. Fulton also maintains his Registration as a Professional Engineer in the State of Florida.

Mr. Fulton is an active member of the Florida Bar, and currently serves on the Intellectual Property Law Certification Committee. He is also a member of the Federal Bar and Dade County Bar Associations, and provide Pro Bono services through the DCBA’s Small Claims Clinic and Venture Law Project initiatives. He has served as an Officer and Director of the Inventors Society of South Florida, and regularly provides complimentary “Office Hour” consultations to participants at Venture Café Miami. He has also had the honor to serve as President of his Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Miami Brickell.