Patents Maintenance

All utility patents which issue from applications filed on or after December 12, 1980 are subject to maintenance fees, which must be paid to maintain the patent in force.

Maintenance fees are due three times during the life of a patent, and may be paid without surcharge at:

  • Three to three and a half years after the date of issue for the first payment;
  • Seven to seven and a half years after the date of issue for the second payment; and
  • 11 to 11 ½ years after the date of issue for the third and final payment.

Maintenance fees may be paid with a surcharge during the following "grace periods:"

  • Three and a half years and through the day of the fourth anniversary of the grant of the patent;
  • Seven and a half years and through the day of the eighth anniversary of the grant of the patent; and
  • 11 ½ years and through the day of the 12th anniversary of the grant of the patent.