Most governmental patent fees are based on whether the applicant is a large entity or a small entity. Small entities are entitled to a 50% discount of the large entity fee. Under the America Invents Act, Congress created an additional category of entities identified as micro-entities which are entitled to a 75% discount of the large entity fee. Current USPTO Fee Schedule.
By default all applicants for patent are considered to be a large entity unless otherwise claimed.
Change of status
The patent applicant’s status as a micro, small or large entity may change during pendency of the patent application or term of the patent. At the time of filing the patent application, the patent applicant may be considered a small or micro entity. However, if the patented technology is licensed to a large entity or small entity, then for the purposes paying governmental fees for the patent application or patent, the patent applicant or patentee is considered to be a large or small entity and must pay the higher fee set forth by Congress.
I invite you to contact me with your patent questions at (949) 433-0900 or [email protected]. Please feel free to forward this article to your friends. As an Orange County Patent Attorney, I serve Orange County, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and surrounding cities.