Video

Commercial 3D Printer System

How does a 3D printer work? The science and engineering behind this emerging technology

Originally posted on Gigaom:

There is a lot of excitement building around what 3D printers can and might do. But how does a 3D printer work? It’s actually not very complicated.

Here are the mechanics behind the most common consumer-level printers that extrude plastic.

3D printer owners choose between two types of plastic: acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA). Some printers work with just one, other printers work with both. The plastic comes as strands of filament that are usually a standard 1.75 millimeters or 3 millimeters in width.

ABS, which is used to make Legos, is chemical-based and works at slightly higher temperatures. PLA is derived from natural sources, such as corn or sugarcane. It’s more rigid and glossy than ABS. Outside of 3D printing, it can be used to make compostable packaging.

Filament, which is usually stored on a spool attached to a 3D printer, can be expensive. MakerBot charges $48 for 2.2 pounds of PLA, though PLA or ABS can be had for half the price on eBayThe company estimates one 2.2 pound spool of filament is enough to print 392 chess pieces.

The price is likely to drop as 3D printers become more common and filament is manufactured on a larger scale. One current way to drop the cost is to use a filament extruder; you feed in cheaper plastic beads or recycled plastic and out comes strings of filament.

Once you’ve obtained the filament, it is fed into the 3D printer’s print head. Generally, this is a boxy shape with a nozzle sticking out of it.

Type A Machines Series 1 Pro 3D printer

A gear pulls the piece of filament through the print head. Just before it is extruded by the pointed nozzle, the filament passes through a heated tube and liquifies. The nozzle deposits it in ultra-fine lines generally about 0.1 millimeters across. The plastic solidifies quickly, sealing together layers.

ABS generally needs to be printed on a heated surface; otherwise, the bottom layer of plastic curls up. PLA can be printed on a non-heated surface.

Most printers have one print head, which means objects are printed in one color, or the filament has to be switched out during the print job. Some printers, such as MakerBot’s newest, the Replicator 2X, have two print heads. This allows objects to be printed in two different colors. botObjects has promised to build a full-color printer that mixes filaments to produce a full spectrum of color.

Back and forth, layer by layer

3D printing is additive manufacturing. That means the plastic is built up one layer at a time.

A 3D printed dragon head. Photo by Signe Brewster

The print surface — which is called the print bed — and print head work together to print in three dimensions. On a MakerBot Replicator 2, the print head is suspended on a gantry system. Two metal bars that run across the top of the Replicator support the print head. The print head can move back and forth along them. At the edge of the printer, the two metal bars connect to another two bars. This allows them to move forward and backward, and the print head to move in four directions altogether. The print bed moves up and down to add a third dimension.

MakerBot

Other 3D printers like RepRaps, the open source DIY printers that started the consumer 3D printing trend, sometimes work slightly differently. The print bed may move up, down, forward and backward while the print head only moves side to side. Or there are more unusual systems, such as the DeltaMaker, where the print head moves in three dimensions.

Print jobs can take minutes, hours or days, depending on the size and density of an object. For example, artists recently ran seven Type A Machines Series 1 printers for two months straight to build a 10 x 10 x 8 foot sculpture.

3D printers don’t just print plastic

Not all 3D printers are the same. Professional 3D printers are capable of printing higher quality objects with more diverse materials. At the Shapeways factory, where huge 3D printers output many objects at once, goods aren’t limited to PLA and ABS. There’s brass, ceramic, steel and five types of plastic. Some of their machines rely on laser sintering, which uses lasers to fuse together particles of material. Some key laser sintering patents are set to expire next year, which could soon bring them to consumer printers.

FormLabs’ Form 1, a stereolithography printer, is one of the key printers to watch for non-traditional technologies’ entry into the consumer market. Metal, and even hybrid, printers could be next.

PLA for 3D Printers…what the heck is it?

3D Printer Filament

PLA Filament

Polylactic acid

Polylactic acid
The skeletal formula of PLA
Identifiers
CAS number 33135-50-1
Properties
Molecular formula (C3H4O2)n
Density 1.210-1.430 g·cm-3 [1]
Melting point 150-160 °C [1] 302-320 °F
Solubility in water Insoluble in Water [2]
Hazards
NFPA 704

NFPA 704 four-colored diamond

Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Poly(lactic acid) or polylactide (PLA) is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch(in the United States), tapioca roots, chips or starch (mostly in Asia), or sugarcane (in the rest of the world). In 2010, PLA had the second highest consumption volume of any bioplastic of the world.[3]

The name “poly(lactic acid)” does not comply with IUPAC standard nomenclature, and is potentially ambiguous or confusing, because PLA is not a polyacid (polyelectrolyte), but rather a polyester.[4]

ABS or PLA FOR 3D PRINTING?

3D Printer for the Home

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ABS AND PLA FOR 3D PRINTING

You’ve got a 3D Printer, or you’re looking to buy a 3D Printer and each one seems to indicate it prints in either ABS, PLA, or both. So you find yourself wanting to know, what is the difference between ABS and PLA.

Some Common Ground

There are many materials that are being explored for 3D Printing, however you will find that the two dominant plastics are ABS and PLA. Both ABS and PLA are known as thermoplastics; that is they become soft and moldable when heated and return to a solid when cooled. This process can be repeated again and again. Their ability to melt and be processed again is what has made them so prevalent in society and is why most of the plastics you interact with on a daily basis are thermoplastics.

Now while there are many thermoplastics, very few of them are currently used for 3D Printing. For a material to prove viable for 3D Printing, it has to pass three different tests; initial extrusion into Plastic Filament, second extrusion and trace-binding during the 3D Printing process, then finally end use application.

To pass all three tests, a material’s properties must lend desirably to first, it’s formation into the raw 3D Printer feedstock called Plastic Filament; second, process well during 3D Printing giving visually pleasing and physically accurate parts; and lastly, it’s properties should match the intended application, whether that be strength, durability, gloss, you name it. Often, a material will pass one test so superbly, that it becomes worth the extra effort to battle with it during its other stages. Polycarbonate, a lesser known printing material is this way. For some applications, it’s strength and temperature resistance makes it worth the battle to print accurate and fully fused parts.

The first test, that of production from base plastic resin into top-notch Plastic Filament such as what we carry is a strict and carefully monitored process. It is a battle of wits and engineering that takes the plastic from a pile of pellets to a uniformly dense, bubble free, consistently sized, round rod. Here there is little difference between ABS and PLA; most thermoplastics can pass this test, it is mainly just a question of the time and costs required to do so while still producing Plastic Filament that runs smoothly and consistently during the next stage, 3D Printing.

Here is where the two plastics divide and will help to explain why different groups prefer one over the other.

Storage

Both ABS and PLA do best if, before use or when stored long term, they are sealed off from the atmosphere to prevent the absorption of moisture from the air. This does not mean your plastic will be ruined by a week of sitting on a bench in the shop, but long term exposure to a humid environment can have detrimental effects, both to the printing process and to the quality of finished parts.

ABS - Moisture laden ABS will tend to bubble and spurt from the tip of the nozzle when printing; reducing the visual quality of the part, part accuracy, strength and introducing the risk of a stripping or clogging in the nozzle. ABS can be easily dried using a source of hot (preferably dry) air such as a food dehydrator.

PLA - PLA responds somewhat differently to moisture, in addition to bubbles or spurting at the nozzle, you may see discoloration and a reduction in 3D printed part properties as PLA can react with water at high temperatures and undergo de-polymerization. While PLA can also be dried using something as simple as a food dehydrator, it is important to note that this can alter the crystallinity ratio in the PLA and will possibly lead to changes in extrusion temperature and other extrusion characteristics. For many 3D Printers, this need not be of much concern.

Smell

ABS -  While printing ABS, there is often a notable smell of hot plastic. While some complain of the smell, there are many who either do not notice it or do not find it to be particularly unbearable. Ensuring proper ventilation in small rooms, that the ABS used is pure and free of contaminants and heated to the proper temperature in a reliable extruder can go a long way in reducing the smell.

PLA - PLA on the other hand, being derived from sugar gives off a smell similar to a semi-sweet cooking oil. While it certainly won’t bring back fond memories of home-cooked meals, it is considered by many an improvement over hot plastic.

Part Accuracy

Both ABS and PLA are capable of creating dimensionally accurate parts. However, there are a few points worthy of mention regarding the two in this regard.

ABS - For most, the single greatest hurdle for accurate parts in ABS will be a curling upwards of the surface in direct contact with the 3D Printer’s print bed. A combination of heating the print surface and ensuring it is smooth, flat and clean goes a long way in eliminating this issue. Additionally, some find various solutions can be useful when applied beforehand to the print surface. For example, a mixture of ABS/Acetone, or a shot of hairspray.

For fine features on parts involving sharp corners, such as gears, there will often be a slight rounding of the corner. A fan to provide a small amount of active cooling around the nozzle can improve corners but one does also run the risk of introducing too much cooling and reducing adhesion between layers, eventually leading to cracks in the finished part.

PLA - Compared to ABS, PLA demonstrates much less part warping. For this reason it is possible to successfully print without a heated bed and use more commonly available “Blue” painters tape as a print surface. Ironically, totally removing the heated bed can still allow the plastic to curl up slightly on large parts, though not always.

PLA undergoes more of a phase-change when heated and becomes much more liquid. If actively cooled, much sharper details can be seen on printed corners without the risk of cracking or warp. The increased flow can also lead to stronger binding between layers, improving the strength of the printed part.

ABS and PLA General Material Properties

In addition to a part being accurately made, it must also perform in its intended purpose.

ABS - ABS as a polymer can take many forms and can be engineered to have many properties. In general, it is a strong plastic with mild flexibility (compared to PLA). Natural ABS before colorants have been added is a soft milky biege. The flexibility of ABS makes creating interlocking pieces or pin connected pieces easier to work with. It is easily sanded and machined. Notably, ABS is soluble in Acetone allowing one to weld parts together with a drop or two, or smooth and create high gloss by brushing or dipping full pieces in Acetone. Compared to PLA, it is much easier to recycle ABS.

It’s strength, flexibility, machinability, and higher temperature resistance make it often a preferred plastic by engineers and those with mechanical uses in mind.

PLA -  Created from processing any number of plant products including corn, potatoes or sugar-beets, PLA is considered a more ‘earth friendly’ plastic compared to petroleum based ABS. Used primarily in food packaging and containers, PLA can be composted at comercial compost facilities. It won’t bio-degrade in your backyard or home compost pile however. It is natural transparent and can be colored to various degrees of translucency and opacity. Also strong, and more rigid than ABS, it is occasionally more difficult to work with in complicated interlocking assemblies and pin-joints. Printed objects will generally have a glossier look and feel than ABS. With a little more work, PLA can also be sanded and machined. The lower melting temperature of PLA makes it unsuitable for many applications as even parts spending the day in a hot car can droop and deform.

In Summary

Simplifying the myriad factors that influence the use of one material over the other, broad strokes draw this comparison.

ABS - It’s strength, flexibility, machinability, and higher temperature resistance make it often a preferred plastic for engineers, and professional applications. The hot plastic smell deter some as does the plastics petroleum based origin. The additional requirement of a heated print bed means there are some printers simply incapable of printing ABS with any reliability.

PLA - The wide range of available colors and translucencies and glossy feel often attract those who print for display or small household uses. Many appreciate the plant based origins and prefer the semi-sweet smell over ABS. When properly cooled, PLA seems to have higher maximum printing speeds, lower layer heights, and sharper printed corners. Combining this with low warping on parts make it a popular plastic for home printers, hobbyists, and schools.

Additionally one can find a handy chart comparing the two plastics on our Plastic Filament Buyers Guide

Building a Better Patent System

Blog by Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle Lee

Today I had the opportunity to update the public on the USPTO’s continuing efforts to support President Obama’s initiatives to build a better patent system through his executive actions. I want to share my remarks with you through this blog:

“Thank you. I’m pleased to be here at the White House today with Secretary Pritzker, Director Sperling, and Chief Technology Officer Park to discuss what we collectively are doing to advance our nation’s innovation economy. That task is at the core of our mission at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. We do so by issuing the highest quality patents possible; adding ever-more transparency to our patent system; and leveling the playing field for all players, big and small.

The USPTO is approaching its 225th anniversary next year, and throughout the agency’s history our focus hasn’t wavered. Our commitment was—is—and will be—to do everything we can to help foster an intellectual property system that provides American entrepreneurs:

  • the incentives they need to innovate;
  • the tools to help them produce and protect their creative output;
  • and the certainty they need to seek investments and balance risk while developing new technologies that benefit us all.

Even before the president’s call to do more on patent reform last year, the USPTO had efforts underway to:

  • Improve patent quality and metrics;
  • Enhance examiner training, including input from industry experts; and
  • Weed out troublesome patents through post-grant review proceedings.

Furthermore, ever since the administration’s announcement on June 4th, 2013—as my colleagues before me noted—the USPTO has been hard at work implementing four executive actions.

EXECUTIVE ACTION #1 

The first executive action aims to bring greater transparency of patent ownership information to the public. To this end, the USPTO has begun a rulemaking process. Under our proposed new rule—which reflects significant public input—the USPTO would collect patent ownership information for a patent or application and make that information available to all via our website. The result would be increased transparency aimed at:

  • enhancing competition,
  • facilitating technology transfers,
  • helping to ensure the highest quality patents, and
  • leveling the playing field for innovators.

We are now collecting input from the public on the proposed rule and are pleased to announce today two public events: one at our Alexandria, Virginia, headquarters on March 13th, and another in San Francisco, California, on March 26th. We welcome your input.

EXECUTIVE ACTION #2 

The second executive action called for new, targeted training for patent examiners to scrutinize certain types of patent claims that may be overly broad and to increase patent clarity. We have since implemented a multi-phased training program for all examiners to do just this. In addition, in the coming weeks we will launch a pilot program that uses glossaries to define terms in a patent with the goal of further promoting patent clarity.

We have also conducted numerous public engagements to share ideas, feedback, experiences and insights on further ways to improve patent quality, particularly for software-related patents, such as through our four, well-attended Software Partnership Roundtables held within this past year. We recognize that a patent with clearly defined boundaries provides notice to the public to help it avoid infringement, as well as costly and needless litigation down the road, when the patent is in litigation.

EXECUTIVE ACTION #3 

I am very pleased to announce today the culmination of the third executive action calling for new education and outreach to assist those receiving a patent infringement letter. We have just this morning published a new online toolkit of such resources, which you can find at www.uspto.gov/patentlitigation. These resources will help level the playing field for smaller “Main Street” retailers and consumers—those who are not steeped in patent law or who cannot afford teams of patent attorneys—with a variety of complementary resources. These include ways to find information about the patent being asserted (such as assignment information or its past litigation history) to ways to determine if other businesses are being sued on the same patent.

We know of no other online resource, where a recipient of a patent infringement letter can go to get as much information as is available in this toolkit. And, importantly, the new online toolkit features a two-way communication stream so the public can assist us in identifying additional, and we hope even better, resources for all to use.

EXECUTIVE ACTION #4 

Finally, our fourth executive action called for an expansion of our already extensive public outreach efforts, as well as more empirical research. I’ve already mentioned some of our outreach, which we’ve ramped up from an already high level. As for empirical research, we are proud to announce that we have expanded our Thomas Alva Edison Visiting Scholars program. That’s where we bring on board for a limited time talented scholars to examine intellectual property issues.

We’ve already recruited three distinguished scholars to research key issues related to patent litigation —Joshua Sarnoff of DePaul University, Jonas Anderson of American University, and Elizabeth Bailey of U.C. Berkeley. We’ll be announcing more scholars soon. By engaging legal and economic scholars with agency experts, we anticipate a wealth of new research and data. Empirical examination of the interaction of various aspects of our patent system will provide insights on how to further reduce unnecessary litigation and improve the quality of patents.

So that is a quick overview of our work to date on these executive actions, all designed to strengthen our patent system for our country now and in the long run. I’m also pleased by the administration’s announcement today that we will be renewing our USPTO Patents for Humanity program. You can learn more at www.uspto.gov/patentsforhumanity.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama said “The nation that goes all-in on innovation today willown the global economy tomorrow. This is an edge America cannot surrender.” At the USPTO, we are dedicated to a strong intellectual property system that empowers American businesses to succeed by keeping pace with the ever-growing rate of technological breakthroughs. We are working hand in hand with our colleagues throughout the administration, and with our stakeholders, to advance that goal.

Our work also includes actively engaging with the House and Senate as the legislative process moves forward. The patent system is the engine that powers our 21st century innovation economy. Even the most high-performance engine occasionally needs some fine-tuning. But I am confident our collaborative reform efforts will result in a patent system that performs at an unprecedented level of quality and economic output, benefiting us all.  Thank you.”

The Delphion Story – Intellectual Property Network

In the beginning…
The Intellectual Property Network (as it was then called) was an initiative within IBM. In 1997, in response to the growing needs of individuals, organizations, and governments for more efficient methods of exploring intellectual property information, IBM made the network available to the public via the Internet.

Delphion was spun out of IBM in 2000 and created as a wholly independent entity, incorporating the IBM Intellectual Property Network. Now, with its extensive data coverage — collections from all over the world — and value added functionality, it has evolved into one of the most comprehensive sources for finding and viewing patent information.

Delphion Products Overview

Delphion gives you the patent collections & searching options you need to see inside the world’s important patent databases.

Delphion analytical tools give you new insights into your data:

  • Citation Link creates graphical maps of forward and backward references
  • Snapshot allows quick online analysis of your results using bar charts
  • PatentLab-II supports offline analysis of results with 3D graphs and charts
  • Clustering performs keyword-based linguistic analysis
  • Corporate Tree facilitates targeted Assignee name searching

And our productivity tools help make the most of your research efforts:

  • Data Extract exports key bibliographic fields in common formats
  • Work Files save, organize, annotate and share personalized lists of patents
  • Saved Searches saves queries for frequently-used searches
  • Alerts automatically notifies you of updates
  • PDF Express bulk downloads of up to 500 PDFs

Tracking capabilities give you the detail necessary to support client chargebacks and interdepartmental cost allocations.

Patent viewing options include the Delphion Integrated View, both high-resolution and low-resolution image options, and a variety of download and delivery options.

Delphion offers individual subscription packages tailored to meet your individual research needs.

Contacting Delphion

If you have a question about searching, downloading records, using the database or another technical question, please use this link to contact your local Global Customer Technical Support team: http://ip-science.thomsonreuters.com/techsupport/.

If you would prefer to talk to us on the phone, please contact us at: 

1.877.857.2477 United States and Canada (toll free)
1.215.386.0100 International
1.630.571.4175 Fax
Or through this convenient form.

Customer Service and Support:
http://ip-science.thomsonreuters.com/support/

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UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE Current Fee Schedule – Effective January 01, 2014

Current Fee Schedule – Effective January 01, 2014. (click here to see full page)

UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
FEE SCHEDULE

Effective January 1, 2014

The fees subject to reduction upon establishment of small entity status (37 CFR 1.27) or micro entity status (37 CFR 1.29) are shown in separate columns. Payments from foreign countries must be payable and immediately negotiable in the United States for the full amount of the fee required. For additional information, please call the USPTO Contact Center at (571) 272-1000 or (800) 786-9199.

The $400/$200 non-electronic filing fee (fee codes 1090/2090 or 1690/2690) must be paid in addition to the filing, search and examination fees, in each original nonprovisional utility application filed in paper with the USPTO. The only way to avoid payment of the non-electronic filing fee is by filing your nonprovisional utility application via EFS-Web. The non-electronic filing fee does not apply to reissue, design, plant, or provisional applications.

Patent

Patent Cooperation Treaty

General

Trademark

Fee Code
37 CFR
Description Fee Small Entity
Fee
Micro Entity
Fee
Patent Application Filing Fees
1011/2011/3011
1.16(a)
Basic filing fee – Utility 280.00 140.00 70.00
4011
1.16(a)
Basic filing fee – Utility (electronic filing for small entities)
70.00
1012/2012/3012
1.16(b)
Basic filing fee – Design 180.00 90.00 45.00
1017/2017/3017
1.16(b)
Basic filing fee – Design (CPA) 180.00 90.00 45.00
1013/2013/3013
1.16(c)
Basic filing fee – Plant 180.00 90.00 45.00
1005/2005/3005
1.16(d)
Provisional application filing fee 260.00 130.00 65.00
1014/2014/3014
1.16(e)
Basic filing fee – Reissue 280.00 140.00 70.00
1019/2019/3019
1.16(e)
Basic filing fee – Reissue (CPA) 280.00 140.00 70.00
1051/2051/3051
1.16(f)
Surcharge – Late filing fee, search fee, examination fee or oath or declaration, or application filed without at least one claim or by reference 140.00 70.00 35.00
1052/2052/3052
1.16(g)
Surcharge – Late provisional filing fee or cover sheet 60.00 30.00 15.00
1201/2201/3201
1.16(h)
Independent claims in excess of three 420.00 210.00 105.00
1204/2204/3204
1.16(h)
Reissue independent claims in excess of three 420.00 210.00 105.00
1202/2202/3202
1.16(i)
Claims in excess of 20 80.00 40.00 20.00
1205/2205/3205
1.16(i)
Reissue claims in excess of 20 80.00 40.00 20.00
1203/2203/3203
1.16(j)
Multiple dependent claim 780.00 390.00 195.00
1081/2081/3081
1.16(s)
Utility Application Size Fee – for each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets 400.00 200.00 100.00
1082/2082/3082
1.16(s)
Design Application Size Fee – for each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets 400.00 200.00 100.00
1083/2083/3083
1.16(s)
Plant Application Size Fee – for each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets 400.00 200.00 100.00
1084/2084/3084
1.16(s)
Reissue Application Size Fee – for each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets 400.00 200.00 100.00
1085/2085/3085
1.16(s)
Provisional Application Size Fee – for each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets 400.00 200.00 100.00
1090/2090
1.16(t)
Non-electronic filing fee — Utility (additional fee for applications filed in paper) 400.00 200.00 200.00
1053/2053/3053
1.17(i)(1)
Non-English translation 140.00 70.00 35.00
† The 4000 series fee code may be used via EFS-Web
Top of pagePatent Search Fees
1111/2111/3111
1.16(k)
Utility Search Fee 600.00 300.00 150.00
1112/2112/3112
1.16(l)
Design Search Fee 120.00 60.00 30.00
1113/2113/3113
1.16(m)
Plant Search Fee 380.00 190.00 95.00
1114/2114/3114
1.16(n)
Reissue Search Fee 600.00 300.00 150.00
Top of pagePatent Examination Fees
1311/2311/3311
1.16(o)
Utility Examination Fee 720.00 360.00 180.00
1312/2312/3312
1.16(p)
Design Examination Fee 460.00 230.00 115.00
1313/2313/3313
1.16(q)
Plant Examination Fee 580.00 290.00 145.00
1314/2314/3314
1.16(r)
Reissue Examination Fee 2,160.00 1,080.00 540.00
Top of pagePatent Post-Allowance Fees
1501/2501/3501
1.18(a)(1)
Utility issue fee 960.00 480.00 240.00
1511/2511/3511
1.18(a)(1)
Reissue issue fee 960.00 480.00 240.00
1502/2502/3502
1.18(b)(1)
Design issue fee 560.00 280.00 140.00
1503/2503/3503
1.18(c)(1)
Plant issue fee 760.00 380.00 190.00
n/a
1.18(d)(1)
Publication fee for early, voluntary, or normal publication 0.00 0.00 0.00
1505
1.18(d)(3)
Publication fee for republication 300.00 300.00 300.00
Top of pagePatent Extension of Time Fees
1251/2251/3251
1.17(a)(1)
Extension for response within first month 200.00 100.00 50.00
1252/2252/3252
1.17(a)(2)
Extension for response within second month 600.00 300.00 150.00
1253/2253/3253
1.17(a)(3)
Extension for response within third month 1,400.00 700.00 350.00
1254/2254/3254
1.17(a)(4)
Extension for response within fourth month 2,200.00 1,100.00 550.00
1255/2255/3255
1.17(a)(5)
Extension for response within fifth month 3,000.00 1,500.00 750.00
Top of pagePatent Maintenance Fees
1551/2551/3551
1.20(e)
Due at 3.5 years 1,600.00 800.00 400.00
1552/2552/3552
1.20(f)
Due at 7.5 years 3,600.00 1,800.00 900.00
1553/2553/3553
1.20(g)
Due at 11.5 years 7,400.00 3,700.00 1,850.00
1554/2554/3554
1.20(h)
Surcharge – 3.5 year – Late payment within 6 months 160.00 80.00 40.00
1555/2555/3555
1.20(h)
Surcharge – 7.5 year – Late payment within 6 months 160.00 80.00 40.00
1556/2556/3556
1.20(h)
Surcharge – 11.5 year – Late payment within 6 months 160.00 80.00 40.00
1558/2558
1.17(m)
Petition for the delayed payment of the fee for maintaining a patent in force 1,700.00 850.00 850.00
Top of pageMiscellaneous Patent Fees
1817/2817/3817
1.17(c)
Request for prioritized examination 4,000.00 2,000.00 1,000.00
1819/2819/3819
1.17(d)
Correction of inventorship after first action on merits 600.00 300.00 150.00
1801/2801/3801
1.17(e)(1)
Request for continued examination (RCE) – 1st request (see 37 CFR 1.114) 1,200.00 600.00 300.00
1820/2820/3820
1.17(e)(2)
Request for continued examination (RCE) – 2nd and subseqent request (see 37 CFR 1.114) 1,700.00 850.00 425.00
1830/2830/3830
1.17(i)(1)
Processing fee, except in provisional applications 140.00 70.00 35.00
1808
1.17(i)(2)
Other publication processing fee 130.00 130.00 130.00
1803
1.17(i)(2)
Request for voluntary publication or republication 130.00 130.00 130.00
1802/2802/3802
1.17(k)
Request for expedited examination of a design application 900.00 450.00 225.00
1806/2806/3806
1.17(p)
Submission of an Information Disclosure Statement 180.00 90.00 45.00
1818/2818
1.17(o)
Document fee for third-party submissions (see 37 CFR 1.290(f)) 180.00 90.00
1807
1.17(q)
Processing fee for provisional applications 50.00 50.00 50.00
1809/2809/3809
1.17(r)
Filing a submission after final rejection (see 37 CFR 1.129(a)) 840.00 420.00 210.00
1810/2810/3810
1.17(s)
For each additional invention to be examined (see 37 CFR 1.129(b)) 840.00 420.00 210.00
Top of pagePost Issuance Fees
1811
1.20(a)
Certificate of correction 100.00 100.00 100.00
1816
1.20(b)
Processing fee for correcting inventorship in a patent 130.00 130.00 130.00
1812/2812/3812
1.20(c)(1)
Request for ex parte reexamination 12,000.00 6,000.00 3,000.00*
1821/2821/3821
1.20(c)(3)
Reexamination independent claims in excess of three and also in excess of the number of such claims in the patent under reexamination 420.00 210.00 105.00
1822/2822/3822
1.20(c)(4)
Reexamination claims in excess of 20 and also in excess of the number of claims in the patent under reexamination 80.00 40.00 20.00
1814
1.20(d)
Statutory disclaimer, including terminal disclaimer 160.00 160.00 160.00
1826/2826/3826
1.20(k)(1)
Request for supplemental examination 4,400.00 2,200.00 1,100.00
1827/2827/3827
1.20(k)(2)
Reexamination ordered as a result of supplemental examination 12,100.00 6,050.00 3,025.00
1828/2828/3828
1.20(k)(3)(i)
Supplemental Examination Document Size Fee – for nonpatent document having between 21 and 50 sheets 180.00 90.00 45.00
1829/2829/3829
1.20(k)(3)(ii)
Supplemental Examination Document Size Fee – for each additional 50 sheets or a fraction thereof in a nonpatent document 280.00 140.00 70.00
* Third-party filers are not eligible for the micro entity fee.
Top of pagePatent Trial and Appeal Fees
1405
41.20(a)
Petitions to the Chief Administrative Patent Judge under 37 CFR 41.3 400.00 400.00 400.00
1401/2401/3401
41.20(b)(1)
Notice of appeal 800.00 400.00 200.00*
n/a
41.20(b)(2)(i)
Filing a brief in support of an appeal 0.00 0.00 0.00
1404/2404/3404
41.20(b)(2)(ii)
Filing a brief in support of an appeal in an inter partes reexamination proceeding 2,000.00 1,000.00 500.00*
1403/2403/3403
41.20(b)(3)
Request for oral hearing 1,300.00 650.00 325.00*
1413/2413/3413
41.20(b)(4)
Forwarding an appeal in an application or ex parte reexamination proceeding to the Board 2,000.00 1,000.00 500.00*
1406
42.15(a)(1)
Inter partes review request fee – Up to 20 claims 9,000.00 9,000.00 9,000.00
1414
42.15(a)(2)
Inter partes review post-institution fee – Up to 15 claims 14,000.00 14,000.00 14,000.00
1407
42.15(a)(3)
Inter partes review request of each claim in excess of 20 200.00 200.00 200.00
1415
42.15(a)(4)
Inter partes post-institution request of each claim in excess of 15 400.00 400.00 400.00
1408
42.15(b)(1)
Post-grant or covered business method review request fee – Up to 20 claims 12,000.00 12,000.00 12,000.00
1416
42.15(b)(2)
Post-grant or covered business method review post-institution fee – Up to 15 claims 18,000.00 18,000.00 18,000.00
1409
42.15(b)(3)
Post-grant or covered business method review request of each claim in excess of 20 250.00 250.00 250.00
1417
42.15(b)(4)
Post-grant or covered business method review post-institution request of each claim in excess of 15 550.00 550.00 550.00
1412
42.15(c)(1)
Petition for a derivation proceeding 400.00 400.00 400.00
1411
42.15(d)
Request to make a settlement agreement available and other requests filed in a patent trial proceeding 400.00 400.00 400.00
* Third-party filers are not eligible for the micro entity fee.
Top of pagePatent Petition Fees
1462/2462/3462
1.17(f)
Petitions requiring the petition fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(f) (Group I) 400.00 200.00 100.00
1463/2463/3463
1.17(g)
Petitions requiring the petition fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(g) (Group II) 200.00 100.00 50.00
1464/2464/3464
1.17(h)
Petitions requiring the petition fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(h) (Group III) 140.00 70.00 35.00
1453/2453
1.17(m)
Petition for revival of an abandoned application for a patent, for the delayed payment of the fee for issuing each patent, or for the delayed response by the patent owner in any reexamination proceeding 1,700.00 850.00 850.00
1454/2454
1.17(m)
Petition for the delayed submission of a priority or benefit claim, or to restore the right of priority or benefit 1,700.00 850.00 850.00
1455
1.18(e)
Filing an application for patent term adjustment 200.00 200.00 200.00
1456
1.18(f)
Request for reinstatement of term reduced 400.00 400.00 400.00
1824/2824/3824
1.20(c)(6)
Petitions in a reexamination proceeding, except for those specifically enumerated in 37 CFR 1.550(i) and 1.937(d) 1,940.00 970.00 485.00*
1457
1.20(j)(1)
Extension of term of patent 1,120.00 1,120.00 1,120.00
1458
1.20(j)(2)
Initial application for interim extension (see 37 CFR 1.790) 420.00 420.00 420.00
1459
1.20(j)(3)
Subsequent application for interim extension (see 37 CFR 1.790) 220.00 220.00 220.00
* Third-party filers are not eligible for the micro entity fee.
Top of pagePCT Fees – National Stage
1631/2631/3631
1.492(a)
Basic National Stage Fee 280.00 140.00 70.00
n/a
1.492(b)(1)
National Stage Search Fee – U.S. was the ISA or IPEA and all claims satisfy PCT Article 33(1)-(4) 0.00 0.00 0.00
1641/2641/3641
1.492(b)(2)
National Stage Search Fee – U.S. was the ISA 120.00 60.00 30.00
1642/2642/3642
1.492(b)(3)
National Stage Search Fee – search report prepared and provided to USPTO 480.00 240.00 120.00
1632/2632/3632
1.492(b)(4)
National Stage Search Fee – all other situations 600.00 300.00 150.00
n/a
1.492(c)(1)
National Stage Examination Fee – U.S. was the ISA or IPEA and all claims satisfy PCT Article 33(1)-(4) 0.00 0.00 0.00
1633/2633/3633
1.492(c)(2)
National Stage Examination Fee – all other situations 720.00 360.00 180.00
1614/2614/3614
1.492(d)
Claims – extra independent (over three) 420.00 210.00 105.00
1615/2615/3615
1.492(e)
Claims – extra total (over 20) 80.00 40.00 20.00
1616/2616/3616
1.492(f)
Claims – multiple dependent 780.00 390.00 195.00
1617/2617/3617
1.492(h)
Search fee, examination fee or oath or declaration after the date of commencement of the national stage 140.00 70.00 35.00
1618/2618/3618
1.492(i)
English translation after thirty months from priority date 140.00 70.00 35.00
1681/2681/3681
1.492(j)
National Stage Application Size Fee – for each additional 50 sheets that exceeds 100 sheets 400.00 200.00 100.00
Top of pagePCT Fees – International Stage
1601/2601/3601
1.445(a)(1)(i)(A)
Transmittal fee 240.00 120.00 60.00
1690/2690
1.445(a)(1)(ii)
Non-electronic filing fee (additional fee for applications filed in paper) 400.00 200.00 200.00
1602/2602/3602
1.445(a)(2)(i)
Search fee – regardless of whether there is a corresponding application (see 35 U.S.C. 361(d) and PCT Rule 16) 2,080.00 1,040.00 520.00
1604/2604/3604
1.445(a)(3)(i)
Supplemental search fee when required, per additional invention 2,080.00 1,040.00 520.00
1621/2621/3621
1.445(a)(4)(i)
Transmitting application to Intl. Bureau to act as receiving office 240.00 120.00 60.00
1605/2605/3605
1.482(a)(1)(i)(A)
Preliminary examination fee – U.S. was the ISA 600.00 300.00 150.00
1606/2606/3606
1.482(a)(1)(ii)(A)
Preliminary examination fee – U.S. was not the ISA 760.00 380.00 190.00
1607/2607/3607
1.482(a)(2)(i)
Supplemental examination fee per additional invention 600.00 300.00 150.00
1619/2619/3619 Late payment fee variable variable variable
Top of pagePCT Fees to Foreign Offices **
1701 International filing fee (first 30 pages – filed in paper with PCT EASY zip file or electronically without PCT EASY zip file ) 1,360.00 1,360.00 1,360.00
1710 International filing fee (first 30 pages) – filed electronically with PCT Easy zip file 1,250.00 1,250.00 1,250.00
1702 International filing fee (first 30 pages) 1,471.00 1,471.00 1,471.00
1703 Supplemental fee (for each page over 30) 17.00 17.00 17.00
1704 International search (EPO) 2,545.00 2,545.00 2,545.00
1712 International search (IPAU) 2,076.00 2,076.00 2,076.00
1709 International search (KIPO) 1,212.00 1,212.00 1,212.00
1714 International search (Rospatent) 868.00 868.00 868.00
1705 Handling fee 221.00 221.00 221.00
1706 Handling Fee – 90% reduction, if applicants meets criteria specified at:http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/fees/fee_reduction.pdf 22.10 22.10 22.10
** PCT Fees to Foreign Offices subject to periodic change due to fluctuations in exchange rate.
Top of pagePatent Service Fees
8001
1.19(a)(1)
Printed copy of patent w/o color, delivery by USPS, USPTO Box, or electronic means 3.00 3.00 3.00
8005
1.19(a)(1)
Patent Application Publication (PAP) 3.00 3.00 3.00
8003
1.19(a)(2)
Printed copy of plant patent in color 15.00 15.00 15.00
8004
1.19(a)(3)
Color copy of patent (other than plant patent) containing a color drawing 25.00 25.00 25.00
8007
1.19(b)(1)(i)(A), (ii)(A), and (iii)(A)
Copy of patent application as filed 20.00 20.00 20.00
8008
1.19(b)(1)(i)(B)
Copy of patent-related file wrapper and contents of 400 or fewer pages, if provided on paper 200.00 200.00 200.00
8009
1.19(b)(1)(i)(C)
Additional fee for each additional 100 pages of patent-related file wrapper and (paper) contents, or portion thereof 40.00 40.00 40.00
8010
1.19(b)(1)(i)(D)
Individual application documents, other than application as filed, per document 25.00 25.00 25.00
8011
1.19(b)(1)(ii)(B) and (iii)(B)
Copy of patent-related file wrapper and contents if provided electronically or on a physical electronic medium as specified in 1.19(b)(1)(ii) 55.00 55.00 55.00
8012
1.19(b)(1)(ii)(C)
Additional fee for each continuing physical electronic medium in single order of 1.19(b)(1)(ii)(B) 15.00 15.00 15.00
8041
1.19(b)(2)(i)(A)
Copy of patent-related file wrapper contents that were submitted and are stored on compact disk or other electronic form (e.g., compact disks stored in Artifact folder), other than as available in 1.19(b)(1); first physical electronic medium in a single order 55.00 55.00 55.00
8042
1.19(b)(2)(i)(B)
Additional fee for each continuing copy of patent-related file wrapper contents as specified in 1.19(b)(2)(i)(A) 15.00 15.00 15.00
8043
1.19(b)(2)(ii)
Copy of patent-related file wrapper contents that were submitted and are stored on compact disk, or other electronic form, other than as available in 1.19(b)(1); if provided electronically other than on a physical electronic medium, per order 55.00 55.00 55.00
8013
1.19(b)(3)
Copy of office records, except copies of applications as filed 25.00 25.00 25.00
8014
1.19(b)(4)
For assignment records, abstract of title and certification, per patent 25.00 25.00 25.00
8904
1.19(c)
Library service 50.00 50.00 50.00
8016
1.19(e)
Uncertified statement re status of maintenance fee payments 10.00 10.00 10.00
8017
1.19(f)
Copy of non-U.S. document 25.00 25.00 25.00
8050
1.19(g)
Petitions for documents in form other than that provided by this part, or in form other than that generally provided by Director, to be decided in accordance with merits AT COST AT COST AT COST
8020
1.21(e)
International type search report 40.00 40.00 40.00
8902
1.21(g)
Self-service copy charge, per page 0.25 0.25 0.25
n/a
1.21(h)(1)
Recording each patent assignment, agreement or other paper, per property – if submitted electronically 0.00 0.00 0.00
8021
1.21(h)(2)
Recording each patent assignment, agreement or other paper, per property – if not submitted electronically 40.00 40.00 40.00
8022
1.21(i)
Publication in Official Gazette 25.00 25.00 25.00
8023
1.21(j)
Labor charges for services, per hour or fraction thereof 40.00 40.00 40.00
8024
1.21(k)
Unspecified other services, excluding labor AT COST AT COST AT COST
8026
1.21(n)
Handling fee for incomplete or improper application 130.00 130.00 130.00
Top of pagePatent Enrollment Fees
9001
1.21(a)(1)(i)
Application fee (non-refundable) 40.00
9010
1.21(a)(1)(ii)(A)
For test administration by commercial entity 200.00
9011
1.21(a)(1)(ii)(B)
For test administration by the USPTO 450.00
9003
1.21(a)(2)
Registration to practice or grant of limited recognition under §11.9(b) or (c) 100.00
9025
1.21(a)(2)
Registration to practice for change of practitioner type 100.00
9005
1.21(a)(4)
Certificate of good standing as an attorney or agent 10.00
9006
1.21(a)(4)(i)
Certificate of good standing as an attorney or agent, suitable for framing 20.00
9012
1.21(a)(5)(i)
Review of decision by the Director of Enrollment and Discipline under §11.2(c) 130.00
9013
1.21(a)(5)(ii)
Review of decision of the Director of Enrollment and Discipline under §11.2(d) 130.00
9015
1.21(a)(7)(i)
Annual fee for registered attorney or agent in active status 120.00
9016
1.21(a)(7)(ii)
Annual fee for registered attorney or agent in voluntary inactive status 25.00
9017
1.21(a)(7)(iii)
Requesting restoration to active status from voluntary inactive status 50.00
9018
1.21(a)(7)(iv)
Balance of annual fee due upon restoration to active status from voluntary inactive status 100.00
9019
1.21(a)(8)
Annual fee for individual granted limited recognition 120.00
9020
1.21(a)(9)(i)
Delinquency fee for annual fee 50.00
9004
1.21(a)(9)(ii)
Reinstatement to practice 100.00
9014
1.21(a)(10)
Application fee for person disciplined, convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors under §11.7(h) 1,600.00
9024
1.21(k)
Unspecified other services,excluding labor AT COST
Top of pageFinance Service Fees
9201
1.21(b)(1) or
2.6(b)(13)(i)
Establish deposit account 10.00
9202
1.21(b)(2), (b)(3) or
2.6(b)(13)(ii)
Service charge for below minimum balance 25.00
9101
1.21(m) or
2.6(b)(12)
Processing each payment refused or charged back 50.00
Top of pageComputer Service Fees
8031 Computer records AT COST
Top of pageTrademark Processing Fees ***
6001
2.6(a)(1)(i)
Application for registration, per international class (paper filing) 375.00
7001
2.6(a)(1)(ii)
Application for registration, per international class (electronic filing, TEAS application) 325.00
7007
2.6(a)(1)(iii)
Application for registration, per international class (electronic filing, TEAS Plus application) 275.00
6002/7002
2.6(a)(2)
Filing an Amendment to Allege Use under §1(c), per class 100.00
6003/7003
2.6(a)(3)
Filing a Statement of Use under §1(d)(1), per class 100.00
6004/7004
2.6(a)(4)
Filing a Request for a Six-month Extension of Time for Filing a Statement of Use under §1(d)(1), per class 150.00
6005/7005
2.6(a)(15)
Petitions to the Director 100.00
6006/7006
2.6(a)(19)
Dividing an application, per new application (file wrapper) created 100.00
6008/7008
2.6(a)(1)(iv)
Additional fee for application that doesn’t meet TEAS Plus filing requirements, per class 50.00
6201/7201
2.6(a)(5)
Application for renewal under §9, per class 400.00
6203/7203
2.6(a)(6)
Additional fee for filing renewal application during grace period, per class 100.00
6204/7204
2.6(a)(21)
Correcting a deficiency in a renewal application 100.00
6205/7205
2.6(a)(12)
Filing §8 affidavit, per class 100.00
6206/7206
2.6(a)(14)
Additional fee for filing §8 affidavit during grace period, per class 100.00
6207/7207
2.6(a)(20)
Correcting a deficiency in a §8 affidavit 100.00
6208/7208
2.6(a)(13)
Filing §15 affidavit, per class 200.00
6210/7210
2.6(a)(7)
Publication of mark under §12(c), per class 100.00
6211/7211
2.6(a)(8)
Issuing new certificate of registration 100.00
6212/7212
2.6(a)(9)
Certificate of correction, registrant’s error 100.00
6213/7213
2.6(a)(10)
Filing disclaimer to registration 100.00
6214/7214
2.6(a)(11)
Filing amendment to registration 100.00
6215/7215
7.37
Filing §71 affidavit, per class 100.00
6216/7216
7.37
Filing §71 affidavit grace period, per class 100.00
6401/7401
2.6(a)(16)
Petition for cancellation, per class 300.00
6402/7402
2.6(a)(17)
Notice of opposition, per class 300.00
6403/7403
2.6(a)(18)
Ex parte appeal, per class 100.00
Top of pageTrademark Madrid Protocol Fees ***
6901/7901
7.6(a)(1)
Certifying an International application based on single application or registration, per class 100.00
6902/7902
7.6(a)(2)
Certifying an International application based on more than one basic application or registration, per class 150.00
6903/7903
7.6(a)(3)
Transmitting a Request to Record an Assignment or restriction under 7.23 or 7.24 100.00
6904/7904
7.6(a)(4)
Filing a Notice of Replacement, per class 100.00
6905/7905
7.6(a)(5)
Filing an affidavit under 71 of the Act, per class 100.00
6906/7906
7.6(a)(6)
Surcharge for filing affidavit under 71 of the Act during grace period, per class 100.00
6907/7907
7.6(a)(7)
Transmitting a subsequent designation 100.00
6908/7908
7.6(a)(8)
Correcting a deficiency in an affidavit under 71 of the Act 100.00
Top of pageTrademark International Application Fees ***
7951
7.7(1)
International application fee Reference CFR 7.7 for payment of fees to International Bureau (IB) and IB calculator at:http://www.wipo.int/madrid/en.
7952
7.14(c)
Correcting irregularities in an International application
7953
7.21
Subsequent designation fee
7954
7.23
Recording of an assignment of an international registration under 7.23
*** The 7000 series fee code (e.g., 7001, 7002, etc.) is used for electronic filing via TEAS.
Top of pageTrademark Service Fees
8501
2.6(b)(1)
Printed copy of registered mark, delivery by USPS, USPTO Box, or electronic means 3.00
8503
2.6(b)(4)(i)
Certified copy of registered mark, with title and/or status, regular service 15.00
8504
2.6(b)(4)(ii)
Certified copy of registered mark, with title and/or status, expedited local service 30.00
8507
2.6(b)(2)
Certified copy of trademark application as filed 15.00
8508
2.6(b)(3)
Certified or uncertified copy of trademark-related file wrapper and contents 50.00
8513
2.6(b)(5)
Certified or uncertified copy of trademark document, unless otherwise provided 25.00
8514
2.6(b)(7)
For assignment records, abstracts of title and certification per registration 25.00
8902
2.6(b)(9)
Self-service copy charge, per page 0.25
8521
2.6(b)(6)
Recording trademark assignment, agreement or other paper, first mark per document 40.00
8522
2.6(b)(6)
For second and subsequent marks in the same document 25.00
8523
2.6(b)(10)
Labor charges for services, per hour or fraction thereof 40.00
8524
2.6(b)(11)
Unspecified other services, excluding labor AT COST
Top of pageFastener Quality Act Fees
6991
2.7(a)
Recordal application fee 20.00
6992
2.7(b)
Renewal application fee 20.00
6993
2.7(c)
Late fee for renewal application 20.00
6994
2.7(a)
Application fee for reactivation of insignia, per request 20.00

The 180 Pivot — The thoughts and interest of a marketing professional.

The 180 Pivot — The thoughts and interest of a marketing professional..

By Landon Armstrong, EVP of Marketing – fused180

The 180 Pivot – What do objections really mean?

Sometimes the most insightful learning’s come from the objections made during pitch meetings.  The following comments were made during meetings where I was providing thought leadership, proposing a strategy and/or making tactical recommendations to meet a predetermined business objective or goal.

1)      Digital is just a bubble –  (Says a frustrated executive.)

2)      It’s all about the Facebook likes - (When asked why, this person had no answer.)

3)      Brand awareness is not important –  (Sales dropped a month later when a competitor moved across the street.)

4)      Advertising is too expensive - (Until a Wal-Mart moves down the street.)

5)      I love the overall strategy, but can we just do a piece of it - (Expecting the same outcomes.)

There are many more, but as with every meeting I take a step back and think about where and why my message was lost.  I also try to understand what is really being said when these comments are made.

Here are my thoughts on each of these comments.

Digital is just a bubble -

The speed of user adoption to new and emerging technologies can be frustrating to marketers, specifically when they have made large investments into a technology only to see that the platform can no longer provide the efficiency or flexibility needed to keep up with their consumer or target audience.

Today’s multi-screen environment requires flexibility, giving marketers the ability to change a tactic quickly without having to change a strategy.  Technology has developed in such a way that a large investment into platforms is no longer needed.  Companies can accomplish the same tasks and reach their goals by simply insuring that they are focusing on where their consumers are and tailoring a message and environment to that consumer.  This can all be done with existing technology, as long as your strategy takes into account all the potential tactical pivots that may need to be made along the way.  This sounds more complicated than it is.  In a nutshell, if your vision is linear, you are bound to run into barriers that you can’t overcome. By taking a “round” approach to a strategy, you can easily move between tactics to make the adjustments needed to remain effective.

It’s all about Facebook likes - 

It still amazes me that marketers latch onto a statement without fully understanding the why or the weight that a statement carries in an overarching digital strategy.  This lack of understanding holds true when it comes to the view of most companies and marketing on a vehicle such as Facebook.

Yes, likes are important but this is only a small part of the story.  There are many sites that show you how to get more likes and even some that offer ways to pay for likes.  The “carrot” being that if you have 1000 likes and each of those people have 100 followers, you will reach an audience of 100,000 people.  Well, there may be some validity to that, but if you’re marketing plan is purely focused on eyeballs, then you are missing out on the real opportunity with social marketing.

First, let’s look at the changes that have been happening over the last couple of years with brands.  It used to be that the relationship with a brand was developed and controlled by the brand itself.  In the age of social and the ease of access to technologies, it is now the consumer who drives the relationship with brands. The consumer experience can be posted immediately to a social feed, thus making it very important for a brand to respond quickly to dissatisfaction or to satisfaction with a product or service.  This interaction personalizes the relationship with the consumer, fostering loyalty and giving those consumers who are performing research confidence knowing that a company they choose to do business with is accessible and really cares about the consumer they have worked with.  The best form of advertising is from that of a consumer who has recently done business and regardless of the experience they have, can point to the fact that if there was a problem, it was solved immediately.

Brand awareness is not important - 

A statement most common with small to medium size businesses who rely on referral and repeat business.  Creating buzz in the marketplace around a company’s brand is thought of as being reserved for big brand companies, the thought being that a smaller brand is not as important for smaller ticket items.

This is not true and brand awareness is twofold in the opportunity it provides businesses of all sizes.  A brand should create an emotional attachment with the consumer or audience they are working with.  A brand should stand for quality, integrity, and most importantly instill confidence in the buyer that they are buying from a company that is reputable and cares about how their brand is conveyed in the marketplace.  The expected results for an effective brand awareness campaign is to create a loyalty with a consumer who is not afraid to spend a few dollars more for a product, because they trust the brand that they are buying the product from.

Advertising is too expensive - 

Translation; I have paid thousands of dollars in advertising in the past and did not see the results I was promised or expected.

Over promised and under delivered.  Common in advertising, it’s the few success stories that marketers latch on to that create expectations that far exceed the norm.  The answer here is simple, don’t oversell and be realistic about what a single tactic may or may not produce.  A solid advertising plan is something that is developed and tuned over time.  The fact is all campaigns are successful at producing one thing, results.  Whether these results are bad or good, the information captured can be used to improve the next campaign.  An approach that I take with my clients is simple.  Be transparent with the tactics you are using, nimble in being able to change tactics depending on the results and most importantly, realistic in the time frame for which you can expect to start moving the needle forward in achieving the campaign objectives.

Bottom line, advertising is a cost of doing business.  If done correctly it shouldn’t be an expense and instead be a profit maker.

 I love the overall strategy, but can we just do a piece of it - 

The short answer is yes, as long as you realize you will need to realign your goals and objectives to an expected result of a single component or tactic.  The fact is that a strategy takes into account a number of approaches and tailoring messages to the audience that engages most with a specific vehicle. (I.e. Facebook and Pinterest for woman, Twitter for men and Instagram for teens.)

A full strategy takes into account the entire sales funnel.  How do we create awareness?  How do we tailor our message to the audience we are in front of? And finally how do we get the sale closed?  Choosing a piece of the overall strategy will impact not only impact the expected results negatively, but long term could prove to be more expensive.

It is better to lower the bar of expectations and create a strategy around that, than to choose a single tactic of an overall strategy.  This speaks to how a linear view of marketing does not work well in the multi-screen marketplace of today.  Whether you’re using traditional or digital means of getting your message out into the marketplace, the overarching strategy should be consistent across all tactics.  This takes into the account the assumption that people will actually do some research before purchasing a product or service.  How in-depth that research will be may vary, but a cohesive campaign will insure whatever research is done, the message and call to action remain consistent.

Summary

Marketers are trying to be cost effective with their strategy and tactical choices, utilizing pieces of knowledge they have garnered from many different sources.  It is important as marketing professionals to communicate both the positive and negatives to this way of thinking, offer multiple options and most importantly set realistic expectations to benchmark progress against.

Whether you agree or disagree with my opinions and assumptions made in this post, I would love to hear from you.  Send me an email at landon@fused180.com or follow me on Twitter @180landon.

Landon Armstrong

EVP of Marketing – fused180

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