Annuity Fees

By Lia Kopin-Green
/
August 9, 2022

What are Annuity Fees?

Annuity fees, also known as renewal fees or maintenance fees, are payments made to patent offices to keep a granted patent in force. Patent and trademark offices (PTOs) determine these fees according to their country's current patent laws. In the United States, these payments are typically due at intervals of 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years from the actual filing date. In most cases for large entities, the fees are set at $1,600, $3,600, and $7,400 respectively. These amounts often decrease depending on the size of the patent owner. Despite the fact that it is important these payments be made on time, there is a grace period during which patent owners can pay these fees later at a surcharge.

Key Takeaways

  • Annuity fees, also known as renewal fees or maintenance fees, are fees paid to patent and trademark offices in order to maintain a patent.
  • In the United States, maintenance fees are required 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years after the patent is issued and their amounts vary depending on the size of the entity.
  • These payments play a crucial role in maintaining a patent. Failure to pay annuity fees can result in withdrawal, lapse or abandonment of a patent in that particular jurisdiction.

Annuity Fee Amounts

Depending on the size of the patent owner, the exact amount of annuity fees may vary. Even though all entities must pay annuity fees at the same intervals, their amounts differ. Large entities will pay $1,600, $3,600 and $7,400 at each payment interval. These entities are typically defined as companies with at least 500 employees. Alternatively, small entities, which classify as small businesses or individuals with less than 500 employees, pay $800, $1,800, and $3,700 respectively. Lastly, micro entities are required to pay $400, $900, and $1,850 at each payment interval. Micro entities must meet certain criteria, such as not being named on more than four patents and having gross income less than three times the United States median household income.

Maintaining a Patent After Non-Payment of Annuity Fees

Imagine you did not realize the six-month grace period to pay your maintenance fee has lapsed, and your intellectual property is at risk of losing its patent. Fortunately, this does not mean your patent is gone for good. Even after the six-month grace period has ended, it is still possible to reinstate your patent if you can prove that the payment delay was unintentional. According to the USPTO, the patent must submit a signed statement establishing that the delay was “unintentional” along with the required payment and petition filing fee.

Bottom Line

All patent owners, regardless of their size, are prone to mistakes and misunderstandings when it comes to patent maintenance fees. In order to prevent costly miscommunications, it is highly advised to seek the assistance of a skilled intellectual property lawyer that will help guide you through the complicated realm of annuity fees. Get in touch with top IP attorneys as soon as possible with Attorney at Law.

Recent Posts

Related Posts

Copyright
Lia Kopin-GreenAugust 22, 2022
Patent
Lia Kopin-GreenSeptember 20, 2022
Patent False Marking
Lia Kopin-GreenSeptember 1, 2022
Collective Marks
Lia Kopin-GreenAugust 16, 2022
Attorney At Law is changing how clients connect with lawyers. By providing an innovative platform to lawyers who want to expand their practice’s reach, AAL is bringing law practices into the future.
+1 (888) 529-9321
6142 Innovation Way
Carlsbad, California 92009
© 2022 Attorney at Law | All rights reserved
Some of the content of this website may be considered attorney advertising under the rules of certain jurisdictions. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
crossmenuchevron-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram