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. 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 2006-12-18, and the issue date of the patent is 2012-06-26, after the patent has been issued, the payment window will remain open for 6 months from the anniversary of the patent's filing date. For this reason, you will only have to begin settling the renewal fees from 2015-06-26 until 2015-12-26.
In the USA, there is only one kind of intellectual property type for which you settle renewal fees for, this is also known as a utility patent.
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.
The patent renewal fee is paid at the interval of every 4th year. For further clarification, please refer to the breakdown below.
Year-by-year Patent Renewal Fees at the US Patent Office
The first renewal fee is paid after the patent has been issued in the USA.
Yes, it is possible to renew a US patent after its deadline. At the end of the 6-month payment window, a 6-month grace period is given. An additional fee of 500 USD to maintain the patent will occur. The additional fee is also discounted. The new total will need to be settled within the 6-month grace period.
You will have to renew a US patent once it has been issued. Once issued, the patentee will have to maintain the patent by paying for its renewal fees in the stipulated intervals. By settling the maintenance fees, the patent is guaranteed to last for 20 years from filing. In short, a patent will last for 20 years from its date of filing.
The payment window opens six months before the maintenance fees are due. It is important to note that the renewal fees cannot be settled prior to this window opening.
The US patent application is at the filing stage. The patent is typically published within 18 months of filing. However, you can start paying renewal fees only after the patent has been issued.
It is not mandatory to make use of a local agent or representative when renewing a US patent. You can transfer the fees due into the account of the USPTO (both deposit and credit card payments are permitted).