Utilizing its new power to set its own fees, the PTO has proposed a new fee schedule for implementation in 2013: http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/Proposed_Fee_Schedule.pdf
The proposed schedule shows significant fee increases. The current filing, search, examination fee for utility applications would increase from $1,250/625 (380+620+250) to $1,600/800 (280+600+720), a 28% increase.
Excess independent claim fees will shoot up from $250/125 to $420/210 (68%).
Requests for Continued Examination increase from $930/465 to $1,200/600 for the first and $1,700/850 for subsequent requests.
Fees for appeals will increase dramatically. The PTO proposes to eliminate the fee for filing an appeal brief, but replace it with a $2,000/1,000 fee for “Forwarding Appeal to Board.” The total fee would increase from $1,240/620 to $3,000/1,500 (142%).
The PTO bases its fee propoals on the amount of time and work required by PTO personnel. Explain the huge maintenance fee increases from $8,710/4,355 to $12,600/6,300 (45%).
The only fee the PTO proposes to reduce is the issue fee from $1,740/870 to $960/480 for utility patents. The PTO has also proposed eliminating the current publication fee.
The proposal also includes a new $120 annual fee for registered patent attorneys and agents.
The details are available at the link above. Additional analysis comparing the current with the proposed fees is available here.
Comments on the proposed fee schedule will be accepted through early November.