Gross Income Limit for Micro Entity Qualification Changed for 2014

Posted Wednesday, January 8, 2014.

Those doing business with the USPTO may be eligible for a discount on many USPTO fees, depending on the size of the entity behind the transaction. Small businesses and individual inventors usually qualify for “Small Entity” status, which results in a 50% discount in fees. However, there is also a “Micro Entity” status, for which a 75% discount on USPTO fees is given.

To qualify for Micro Entity status, the applicant, inventor, or other party must usually meet two qualifications. The first is that the entity must have previously had no more than five patent applications (not including provisional applications) filed. The second is a gross income limit, which is set annually at three times the U.S. median household income.

For 2014, the gross income limit for Micro Entity status is $153,051. This is up from approximately $150,000 for 2013. This income limit does not relate to household income, but rather, the income of the individual (or each of the individuals, if, for example, there are co-inventors). The income limit also applies to companies or other business entities that apply for a patent.

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