If you qualify under the new America Invents Act (AIA) as a micro entity, the answer might be yes. Micro entities are entitled to receive a 75% discount on fees. That can be a significant savings. However, you must first qualify.
“Micro Entity” must certify that, among other things, that neither the applicant nor the inventor nor any joint inventor has been named as the inventor on more than four previously filed patent applications.
Also, neither the applicant nor the inventor nor any joint inventor had, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is being paid, a gross income (as defined by the IRS) exceeding three times the median household income for that preceding calendar year. The income level is initially set to $150,162, will entitle an applicant to “Micro Entity” status.
Additionally, the applicant 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 would not meet income level discussed above.
“Micro Entities” also include applicants who certify 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.
The USPTO also requires that any applicant claiming Micro Entity status must also qualify as a “Small Entity”. This is intended to prevent Large Entities from qualifying for “Micro Entity” fees by granting some rights to an institution of higher learning.
How Can I Help?
I can help you figure out if you qualify as a micro entity and determine if you can wait for the fee reductions to come into play. So if you are ready to file a patent application, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +