We hope you had a productive 2017! It was quite a busy year for us, so you all must have been inventing like crazy. We wish you well this holiday season and hope that 2018 brings you much success!
Also, we wanted to let you know that the Patent & Trademark Office is playing the Grinch this year by raising certain PTO fees on Jan. 16, 2018. So if you have any patent projects you're thinking about starting soon, you might want to start now rather than later:
- Design Patent filing fees (filing, search & exam): micro-entity $235 (up from $190) ... a 24% increase
- Design Patent filing fees (filing, search & exam): small-entity $470 (up from $380) ... a 24% increase
For those clients that have received a notice-of-allowance on a design patent, note that the issue fee is going up 25% from $140 to $175. Be sure to pay this fee before Jan. 10 or so, so that we have time to prepare the paperwork and get it filed by Jan. 15. Also, it appears that standard utility patent fees are not changing, or only changing slightly, so that's the good news.
Also, at year end we usually skip the cost of printing and mailing Christmas cards and instead make a donation to Free Wheelchair Mission, which is the result of a mechanical engineer's idea to build low-cost wheelchairs and just give them to people in need around the world. FWM gave away it's 1,000,000th wheelchair earlier in 2017... quite an accomplishment! But there are 59,000,000 more wheelchairs needed, so please consider donating enough to buy at least one wheelchair and lift someone's body and spirit off of the ground! FWM is one of the highest-rated charities on www.CharityNavigator.com, a site that reviews charities for financial accountability and transparency.
Thanks again for your patent business in these last few years, and have a great Christmas season!
-Kevin Prince, President
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