Do You Quality for Patent Office Savings as a “Micro-Entry?”

The Patent Office has for many years offered its services at lower rates to “Small Entities,” i.e. individual inventors or companies having fewer than 500 employees. Now even smaller is better.  The passage of the America Invents Act (AIA) in September 2011 created a new class of entities in the USPTO. “Micro-entities” enjoy greatly reduced fees in practice before the Patent Office.

 To qualify as a micro entity, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

First, you must qualify for small-entity status. Presently, that requires a company with fewer than 500 employees;

Second, you must not be the named inventor on more than four previously filed applications;

Third, your gross income in the year the application is filed must not exceed three times of the median household income of the most recent recorded year (about $50,000 in 2013), and;

Finally, you haven’t assigned or agreed to assign any ownership interest in the application to an entity whose gross income is more than three times the median household income.

If you qualify as a micro entity, your fees will be discounted 75% for the life of the patent, as long as you continue to qualify as a micro entity. Common fees would break down as follows:

USPTO Fee Small Entity Fee Micro-Entity Fee

Basic Filing Fee: $280 $140 $70

Utility Search Fee: $600 $300 $150

Utility Examination Fee: $720 $360 $180

Utility issue fee: $1,780 $890 $445

Maintenance Fees:

3.5 Year $1,600 $800 $400

7.5 Year $3,600 $1800 $900

11.5 Year $7,400 $3700 $1,850

The savings are substantial, if you qualify. Ask today about filing your patent application as a micro-entity.