What are the standard USPTO filing fees for initially filing a utility non-provisional patent application?

There are three essential USPTO patent fees that must ultimately be paid when filing a utility non-provisional application:

  1. Basic Filing Fee
  2. Utility Search Fee
  3. Utility Examination Fee

Deferral of USPTO patent fees may be desired by certain applicants seeking, for example, to conserve cash flow. Keep in mind that deferral of USPTO patent fees may ultimately lead to higher overall costs due to late penalties and possibly additional attorney’s fees for responding to additional USPTO notices.

What is the minimum USPTO fee that must be paid when filing a US national stage application?

The initial filing of US national stage application must include at least the Basic Filing Fee. Payment of both the search fee and examination fee may be deferred until after the initial filing of a US national phase application.

What is the minimum USPTO fee that must be paid when filing a new non-provisional application?

If a new non-provisional application is not a national stage application (e.g., conventional priority claim to a foreign application, no priority claim, etc.), then no USPTO fees need to be paid at the initial filing. The applicant will receive a Notice to File Missing Parts which will provide a deadline for paying the three essential fees above plus any surcharges.

What USPTO late fees will be incurred by deferring patent fees?

As of the date of this post, the USPTO surcharge price for deferring USPTO non-provisional patent fees is $160 for a large entity and $80 for a small entity.

Can USPTO patent extension fees be deferred?

Yes, in a sense. The USPTO does not require patent applicants to request or pay for an extension of time before entering the extended time period. This is unlike extensions in trademark applications where applicants, for example, must request an extension of time in an Intent-To-Use application in order to gain additional time for filing a Statement of Use.

When responding to a patent Office Action, the applicant may simply enter into the extended time period (e.g., after three months from the issue date of a substantive Office Action) without first paying for an extension. When the response is actually filed, the response will include a retroactive extension request for the appropriate number of months required. Your patent practitioner will also concurrently pay the requisite USPTO extension fees when the Office Action response is filed. This is what is we mean by retroactively requesting and paying the USPTO extension fee.

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Vic Lin

Vic Lin

Startup Patent Attorney | IP Chair at Innovation Capital Law Group
We love working with startups and small businesses. I help entrepreneurs protect their intellectual property so they can reach their business goals.