How to maintain a Patent in the United States?
While a US patent is in the pending application stage, no maintenance fees are due. Once a US patent is issued, you are obliged to pay a recurring renewal fee to maintain the patent. The renewal fees in the US are paid in intervals of 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years - starting from 3.5 years after the issue date of the patent.
For example, if the filing date of a patent is 18.12.2006 and the issue date of the patent is (26.06.2012). After the patent has been issued, the payment window will remain open for 6 months from the anniversary of the patents filing date. For this reason, you will only have to begin settling the renewal fees from 26.06.2015 until 26.12.2015.
Renewal fees by intellectual property type
In the USA, there is only one kind of intellectual property type for which you settle renewal fees for, also known as utility patents.
Intellectual Property Type #1 - Utility Patents
The renewal fees for issued US patent applications are payable to the United States Patent Office (USPTO) .
Intellectual Property type #2 - Design Patents and Plant patents
Design and plant patents are not subject to renewal fees.