Micro-entity fees go live today and our online fee calculator is updated with the new schedule of fees for all entities. A comparison of total costs of patent acquisition and maintenance between the fee schedules:
The new March 19, 2013 fee schedule actually lowers some of the initial filing fees but dramatically increases maintenance fees. This may lead to more post-issuance patent expirations before the term of the patent is over. For many companies, this is a good thing….less dead wood in the system and more freedom to practice technologies.
Once very nice feature of the new fee schedule is that the Track One accelerated examination fee has gone done from $4,800 for large entities to $4,000. This means small entities can jump start their patent prosecution for $2,000 and micro-entities for only $1,000. Considering all the benefits of Track One examination, this makes it nearly a no-brainer option for micro-entities.