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USPTO Delays the Planned Non-DOCX Filing Surcharge Fee Yet Again

March 31, 2023

By: Alexander Adam, Ph.D. and Mary Lou Wakimura

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a new final rule on March 27, 2023, delaying the effective date of the fee set for filing a Non-DOCX patent application until June 30, 2023.  According to the USPTO, the further delay will give applicants more time to adjust to filing patent applications in the DOCX format.

The surcharge fee (up to $400 - small entity and micro entity discounts apply) will be due for nonprovisional utility applications, including continuing applications, where the specification, claims, and/or abstract do not conform to the USPTO requirements for submission in the DOCX format.  

The USPTO encourages Applicants to begin filing patent applications in the DOCX format before the new effective date of the fee. Applicants can file test submissions through the Patent Center training mode to practice filing in DOCX. In addition, the USPTO is continuing to host public DOCX training sessions. Information on filing application documents in DOCX and a link to the DOCX training sessions are available at .

This is the third time the USPTO has delayed the effective date of the Non-DOCX filing surcharge fee.  The original implementation was set to take effect January 1, 2022, which was first extended to January 1, 2023, then April 3, 2023, and now to June 30, 2023.  Will the third time be the charm?

Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds is experienced in filing documents with the USPTO in DOCX format. Please contact us if you have any questions or want further information about the DOCX format.