MICRO ENTITY STATUS FEES, USPTO PATENT
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
***Micro Entity Fees will not go into effect for about another 18 Months***
Word of caution: if you file as a Micro-Entity, but later either sell, license or assign your patent to a large entity, you MUST pay the difference in patent fees, otherwise the patent may become disqualified.
What are Micro Entity Fees? 75% Discount over Large Entity Fees, which is an additional 50% reduction over the previous fees.
-Your income is under $150,000 per year (actually measured as 3 times the income of what is reported on the US Census Website which is $49,777)
- You have not filed more than 4 nonprovisional patent applications
-You have not assigned or licensed your invention to a large entity
***These fees are subject to change as they have recently been enacted into law. As such, these fees may need to be amended as more information becomes available*** -300% of the median income as reported on the Census Website $49,777. (2009) If you have $149,300 can qualify as a Micro Entity, if you have not filed more than 4 nonprovisional patent applications, and if you have not signed a licensing agreement with a party or an entity that is not a small entity.
Here is the actual text from the legislation:
‘‘§ 123. Micro entity defined
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of this title, the term ‘micro
entity’ means an applicant who makes a certification that the
‘‘(1) qualifies as a small entity, as defined in regulations
issued by the Director;
‘‘(2) has not been named as an inventor on more than
4 previously filed patent applications, other than applications
filed in another country, provisional applications under section
111(b), or international applications filed under the treaty
defined in section 351(a) for which the basic national fee under
section 41(a) was not paid;
‘‘(3) did not, in the calendar year preceding the calendar
year in which the applicable fee is being paid, have a gross
income, as defined in section 61(a) of the Internal Revenue
Code of 1986, exceeding 3 times the median household income
for that preceding calendar year, as most recently reported
by the Bureau of the Census; and
‘‘(4) has not assigned, granted, or conveyed, and is not
under an obligation by contract or law to assign, grant, or
convey, a license or other ownership interest in the application
concerned to an entity that, in the calendar year preceding
the calendar year in which the applicable fee is being paid,
had a gross income, as defined in section 61(a) of the Internal
Revenue Code of 1986, exceeding 3 times the median household
income for that preceding calendar year, as most recently
reported by the Bureau of the Census.
‘‘(b) APPLICATIONS RESULTING FROM PRIOR EMPLOYMENT.—An
applicant is not considered to be named on a previously filed application
for purposes of subsection (a)(2) if the applicant has assigned,
or is under an obligation by contract or law to assign, all ownership
rights in the application as the result of the applicant’s previous
‘‘(c) FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATE.—If an applicant’s
or entity’s gross income in the preceding calendar year is not
in United States dollars, the average currency exchange rate, as
reported by the Internal Revenue Service, during that calendar
year shall be used to determine whether the applicant’s or entity’s
gross income exceeds the threshold specified in paragraphs (3)
or (4) of subsection (a).
‘‘(d) INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.—For purposes of this
section, a micro entity shall include an applicant who certifies
‘‘(1) the applicant’s employer, from which the applicant
obtains the majority of the applicant’s income, is an institution
of higher education as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher
Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)); or
‘‘(2) the applicant has assigned, granted, conveyed, or is
under an obligation by contract or law, to assign, grant, or
convey, a license or other ownership interest in the particular
applications to such an institution of higher education.
‘‘(e) DIRECTOR’S AUTHORITY.—In addition to the limits imposed
by this section, the Director may, in the Director’s discretion, impose
income limits, annual filing limits, or other limits on who may
qualify as a micro entity pursuant to this section if the Director
determines that such additional limits are reasonably necessary
to avoid an undue impact on other patent applicants or owners
or are otherwise reasonably necessary and appropriate. At least
3 months before any limits proposed to be imposed pursuant to
this subsection take effect, the Director shall inform the Committee
on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee
on the Judiciary of the Senate of any such proposed limits.’’.
(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.—Chapter 11 of title 35,
United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the
following new item:
‘‘123. Micro entity defined.’’.
(h) ELECTRONIC FILING INCENTIVE.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of
this section, an additional fee of $400 shall be established
for each application for an original patent, except for a design,
plant, or provisional application, that is not filed by electronic
means as prescribed by the Director. The fee established by
this subsection shall be reduced by 50 percent for small entities
that qualify for reduced fees under section 41(h)(1) of title
35, United States Code. All fees paid under this subsection
shall be deposited in the Treasury as an offsetting receipt
that shall not be available for obligation or expenditure.
(2) EFFECTIVE DATE.—This subsection shall take effect upon
the expiration of the 60-day period beginning on the date of
the enactment of this Act.
(i) EFFECTIVE DATE; SUNSET.—
(1) EFFECTIVE DATE.—Except as provided in subsection (h),
this section and the amendments made by this section shall
take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(2) SUNSET.—The authority of the Director to set or adjust
any fee under subsection (a) shall terminate upon the expiration
of the 7-year period beginning on the date of the enactment
of this Act.
(3) PRIOR REGULATIONS NOT AFFECTED.—The termination
of authority under this subsection shall not affect any regulations
issued under this section before the effective date of
such termination or any rulemaking proceeding for the issuance
of regulations under this section that is pending on such date.