Q: Can I reopen this patent
I forgot to pay the fee
A: There are a lot of fees in the process. However, if the fee that you mean is the periodic maintenance fee to keep an issued patent from expiring, you may be in luck.
Many new patent owners forget to pay this fee. If the failure to pay this fee was unintentional as you forgot that you needed to do this, then the USPTO is pretty forgiving. If the deadline for payment was within 2 years, the petition when filed electronically can be automatically granted. If you are a micro-entity, this extra petition fee is $500 (double that if you are a small entity.
You will still need to pay the maintenance fee in addition to the petition fee. You can have your patent attorney handle this or the Applications Assistance Unit at the USPTO should be able to walk you through this process so you pay via credit card online. Their number is (571) 272-4200.
NOTE -- now that you know you can fix this, you have to do so soon. Otherwise the failure to act will mean that the entire delay in payment is not unintentional.
I hope that this helps.
Kevin E Flynn
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