America Invents Act a “Jobs bill”?

To hear the politicians explain it, the recent changes to the patent laws are going to spur job growth.

One may argue whether the changes will spur private sector job growth, but one thing is sure: the Patent Office is hiring!

According to Director Kappos, between 1,500 and 2,000 new examiners will be hired to reduce application backlog.

And in my opinion, this will do more than anything in the entire law to improve things.

Patent Office Fees Increase as of Today

One of the effects of the Leahy-Smith Act  recently signed into law by President Obama is that  USPTO fees have (as of today) gone up on average 15%.

For an updated fee schedule, see this link.

Here are a few of the new fee amounts:

Old Fee Amount New Fee Amount
Filing Fee**

$462

$530

Issue Fee

$540

$620

Publication Fee

$300

$300

1 Month Extension of Time

$65

$75

2 Month Extension of Time

$245

$280

3 Month Extension of Time

$555

$635

** The above fees are for small entities. Filing fee assumes electronic filing.

There is a new fee category listed on the fee schedule for “Request for prioritized examination” which we will discuss in greater detail in a later post. But, suffice to say, this is a new program in which the applicant can pay a fee for an accelerated examination (a final disposition within 12 months). The fee for small entities is $2400 — which is well worth considering, in many cases. The Patent Office will limit the program to 10,000 petitions per year.

Patent Issued for Snowman

As first reported in techdirt, a patent has issued recently for a snowman. The patent in question is entitled “Apparatus for facilitating the construction of a snow man/woman”. My first reaction was — given the long wait time  for the Patent Office to issue a patent — that this one might have been pending for the last few thousand years or so. But, as it turns out, the invention is fairly narrow in scope, and merely discloses and claims a particular method for making a snowman. Luckily, the patent does not preempt the traditional snowman.