Maiorana, P.C.

USPTO - Issue Fee

Why Discuss A Continuation When The Only Thing I See Due Is An Issue Fee?

I get different versions of this question all the time. The short answer is - the timing. A patent application remains pending up until the date that the patent issues. Pendency is important when filing a continuation.

Once we pay the Patent Issue Fee, a US patent will likely issue about one month later, on the closest Tuesday. All US patents issue on Tuesdays. So if the intention is to file a patent continuation, the time to decide is before payment of the patent issue fee. The United States Patent Office (USPTO) recommends that a continuation “should” be filed prior to payment of the issue fee.

As a practical matter, we can delay at least a couple of weeks after payment of the issue fee to get these things in order. It is never a good idea to go to close to a deadline. Hurricanes, utility outages, government shut downs or any other disruptions to businesses occasionally occur. So we begin this discussion of a patent continuation during the time after receiving a notice of allowance, but prior to the payment of the issue fee.

As a balance, until we pay the issue fee, the patent will not issue. So if there is excitement on getting a patent to issue, for example your first patent for a company, then paying the issue fee sooner speeds up the whole process. But that also speeds up the time to make a decision on your continuation application.

How does an inventor navigate though all the nuances of Patent Law? You don't really need to. We will be your guide to provide quality services at a reasonable price.

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  • Chris Maiorana
  • September 2017 (updated July 2019)
Topics: United States Patent Office, Continuation Patent Application, Priority Date, Patent Law, Patent Issue Fee
Related: What is an RCE?; Patent Continuation Practice; What is Priority Date?; What is a patent interference?

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