Definition[edit | edit source]

U.S. patent law[edit | edit source]

Maintenance fees are fees paid at three intervals during the life of a patent that must be paid to keep the patent in force for its entire 20-year term. The fee is now payable at 3 1/2, 7 1/2, and 11 1/2 years from the date of issuance. A late fee is permitted, but a surcharge is imposed.

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