Patent Law Updates | New Statutes, Regulations and Rules
June 28, 2012
USPTO Publishes Proposed Rules to Implement Micro Entity Status for Paying Discounted Patent Fees
Changes to Implement Micro Entity Status for Paying Patent Fees
USPTO Release No. 12-35, 37 CFR Part 1, Docket No.: PTO–P–2011–0016, RIN 0651–AC78, 5/30/2012
The U.S. Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is proposing to amend the rules of practice in patent cases to implement the micro entity provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA).
If an applicant qualifies as a micro entity, then the applicant is eligible to pay reduced patent fees once the USPTO exercises its fee setting authority under the AIA.
The fee setting provision in the AIA sets the micro entity discount at 75% of the fees set or adjusted for filing, searching, examining, issuing, appealing, and maintaining patent applications and patents.
“The new micro entity provision in the America Invents Acts makes our patent system more accessible for smaller innovators by entitling them to a 75% discount on patent fees,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “By paying discounted patent fees as micro entities, smaller innovators can access the patent system to move their ideas into the marketplace and accelerate U.S. economic growth.”
More specifically, the Office is proposing changes to the rules of practice to set out the procedures for an applicant to claim micro entity status and to pay patents fees as a micro entity. The USPTO likewise is proposing changes to the rules of practice to set procedures for an applicant to notify the Office of the loss of micro entity status and to correct payments of patent fees erroneously paid in the micro entity amount.
Publication in the Federal Register of the proposed rules to implement the micro entity provision of the AIA begins a sixty-day public comment period. During this time, the public may provide written input about the proposed rules.
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