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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.

The outlines:

 

-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

applicant—

‘‘(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

employment.

 

‘‘(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

that—

‘‘(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.

 

 

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