November 21, 2008

The USPTO announced earlier this week that it will be implementing an annual $118 practitioner maintenance fee for active patent agents and attorneys starting in 2009 "[c]onsistent with its commitment to e-government initiatives and promoting high standards of practice" before the USPTO. Although specific details regarding the payment process have not been publicized, fees will be due starting next spring, and notices will be sent to practitioners of record in advance of the due date. According to the USPTO announcement (link below), "[w]ith an annual practitioner maintenance fee, the Office will fund the disciplinary system as state jurisdictions do, by fees from recognized members," and that "[t]he annual practitioner maintenance fee also will enable the USPTO to maintain and publish a roster of registered practitioners that is updated daily. As noted within the November 17, 2008 Federal Register excerpt (link below), and among a number of changes, 37 C.F.R. § 1.21 will be updated to add subsection (a)(7) to add the $118 annual fee for active practitioners and a $25.00 annual fee for practitioners on "voluntary inactive status." Additional details regarding the new fees, related restoration and delinquency fees, and the purposes for implementing such fees are provided within the two links below.

USPTO Announcement: LINK
Federal Register Excerpt: LINK


Robert K S said...

The reader of this post is left wondering why the author seems only to have effectively reprinted the notice without remarking on his agreement or disagreement with the fee. :-)

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