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INPADOC – New US Fee Payment Legal Status Codes

25. October 2017

New US fee payments codes will be delivered in INPADOC from week 2017/43 onwards. The EPO has completely revised the processing of US fee payment data and added new legal event data. As a consequence, the number of INPADOC legal events related to US fee payment data will increase from about 11 million records to about 15 million records.

As of now, the EPO will group US fee payment data according to the following new mapping scheme:

Nature of data related              Corresponding INPADOC
US fee payments                        event code           
Fee payment procedure                        US FEPP              
Filing fee payment                                 US FIFP              
Maintenance fee payment                     US MAFP              
Lapse for failure to                                US LAPS              
maintenance fees                                         
Refund                                                   US REFU              
Reinstatement after maintenance          US REIN              
fee payment confirmed                                    

All INPADOC legal events related to US fee payments will contain detailed information on the nature and definition of the underlying original US legal event. The former codes US FPAY, US FPIR, US REMI, and US SULP will no longer be used. Events which have formerly been mapped to US FPIR, US REMI and US SULP will be grouped under US FEPP. US FPAY is being replaced by US MAFP and US FIFP. The year of fee payment continues to be available.

US fee payment data will be updated in a two-step procedure: In the first step, new data will be made available in the weekly delivery from week 43/2017 onwards. In the second step, US fee payment data already in the INPADOC database will be updated. In a transition period, the INPADOC database will temporarily contain records directed at the same US fee payment events but following different mapping schemes.

In this fictitious example, the new event code US MAFP and the old event code US FPAY is temporarily available in the same record.

20091023 USFPAY      + FEE PAYMENT
                                             Payment Year: 04
20131025 USFPAY      + FEE PAYMENT
                                             Payment Year: 08
20171023 USMAFP    + FEE PAYMENT
                                             Payment Year: 12

Finally, obsolete records will be subsequently removed.
The EPO expects the second step to be completed in first quarter of 2018. Please be aware, that the INPADOC updates will be larger than usual in this time period.