To support small and micro entities, Congress recently passed and President Biden signed into law on December 29, 2022 the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, which included the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022. In addition to supporting the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) expanded outreach and pro bono efforts by requiring the establishment of a Southeast Regional Office and community outreach offices, a study on and expansion of the USPTO’s pro bono work, and establishing a pilot pre-prosecution assessment program for first-time prospective patent applicants, the law increased small entity discounts from 50 percent to 60 percent and micro entity discounts from 75 percent to 80 percent. The USPTO fee schedule has been updated to reflect these changes.
“Access to the innovation ecosystem by all is critical to inclusive innovation and growing our economy by $1 trillion by quadrupling the number of U.S. inventors,” remarked USPTO Director Kathi Vidal. “This bill complements our work to support small inventors, start-ups and those traditionally underrepresented in the innovation ecosystem. With the lower fees, additional outreach and support, and the expanded ability to obtain pro bono counsel, we are positioned to make meaningful progress in 2023 by measurably lowering the barriers for those entering the innovation ecosystem,” remarked Vidal. For more information on obtaining pro bono counsel, visit to the pro bono page on the USPTO website.
A rule notice will be published soon to update the fee amounts appearing under Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations. For patent issue fees, the fee due is the amount appearing on the Notice of Allowance and Fees Due letter (form PTOL-85). For other fees, the applicable fee amount is the fee amount in effect on the day the fee is paid (in full). The day a fee is paid is the date of receipt of the fee payment in the USPTO under 37 CFR § 1.6, or the date reflected on a proper certificate of mailing or transmission on the fee payment, where such a certificate is authorized under 37 CFR § 1.8.
The Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022 can be viewed starting on pg. 1060 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 at congress.gov.