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2014 Patent Fee Schedule to Reduce Some Fees

The new patent office fee schedule that goes into effect in January 2014 will reduce (or eliminate) some fees, while raising some other fees to be paid later on. This impacts the issue fee(s) that the applicants have to pay before the USPTO will grant a patent on an allowed patent application.
The issue fees, currently $1,780/$890/$445 for no-reduction/small-entity/micro-entity applicants will drop to $960/$480/$240. The publication fee, also to be paid at the same time as the issue fee, goes from $300 to zero.
This means that there is a reduction of $710 for small-entity patent applicants who receive a Notice of Allowance during October, November or December of 2013 and pay their issue fee January 2, 2014 or after, rather than December 31, 2013 or before. The patent applicant can apply that $710 to other uses as he/she sees fit, such as additional product testing, promotion, or hiring.
The new fee schedule is part of the USPTO’s fee setting and adjusting program to align the patent fees to the operation costs involved in examining and granting patents.
It would not surprise me to see a large drop in issue fee payments from now until the end of this year, followed by a sizable, temporary bump-up at the beginning of January, as patent applicants take advantage of the reduced fees.