In the November issue of InventorsEye, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director David Kappos announced that the USPTO plans to proceed with implementing a pilot program that would give applicants 12 months after filing a non-provisional application to pay the search and examination fees. The filing fee would still be required at the time the application is filed.
This pilot program would effectively allow an applicant to delay examination of the non-provisional application for up to a year, as compared to the current practice, for which all fees must be paid within two months of filing the non-provisional application. According to the newsletter, the applicant will have to request a delay in payment of the search and examination fees at the same time the non-provisional application is filed. The non-provisional application must still meet all the requirements under 35 U.S.C. § 112 and have at least one claim.
The USPTO believes that the new pilot program will enable applicants to delay other application-related expenses for an additional 12 months. The USPTO is expected to formally announce the pilot program, along with any other requirements, in the near future.
The complete newsletter and description can be found at http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/independent/eye/201011/cover.jsp.