In September of 2012, the old inter partes reexamination system gave way to the new inter partes review proceedings. The America Invents Act (AIA) gave the US Patent Office authority to set the fees for IPR proceedings at level reasonable related to the anticipated costs of these new, more robust, proceedings. Not surprisingly, the IPR fees were set substantially higher than those for the old inter partes reexamination system.

However, along with this change and accompanying fee differences, the Patent Office also raised the filing fees for ex parte reexaminations dramatically. (Ex parte reexamination, as the name suggests, provides a mechanism for challenging patents with very limited opportunities for the challenger to participate.  Originally, ex parte reexamination was the only option for third parties to request review of issued patents.  The AIA largely left this system untouched.)  As the Patent Office’s fiscal year comes to a close, we have an opportunity to examine how the first year of higher fees affected filings of ex parte reexaminations and inter partes reviews.
Continue Reading In For a Penny – Are Fee Increases Reducing the Number of Ex Parte Reexamination Filings?