Effective January 1, 2022, a USPTO surcharge fee of $400 (large entity), $200 (small entity) and $100 (micro entity) will apply for non-DOCX filings. The surcharge fee applies to utility non-provisional application filings (e.g., the specification, claims, and abstract must be in DOCX format to avoid the surcharge; drawings are not subject to this requirement). The DOCX surcharge does not apply to US National Stage Applications or PCT International Applications filed in the US Receiving Office.
Drawings may be filed as PDF or DOCX documents. There is no surcharge for drawings not filed as DOCX documents.
DOCX is a structured text-based Microsoft Word document.In view of the above, to avoid the USPTO surcharge, we recommend that you commence sending specifications in DOCX format for all utility non-provisional applications filed on or after January 1, 2022.