What Government Filing Fee Discounts Are Available?

Government filing fees must be paid to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office [USPTO] when filing some documents. However, if the applicant qualifies, discounts are available for many filed documents. There are three levels of these fees. Qualification is based on the characteristics of the entity (person or organization) that is the applicant for a patent. There are three types of entities for USPTO fee purposes: (1) a large entity does not qualify for any discount; (2) a small entity qualifies for a 50% fee reduction; and (3) a micro entity qualifies for a 75% fee reduction.

Required characteristics for small entity status:

  1. No applicant, and no person or organization to which any right in the invention has been transferred, employs more than 500 employees including the employees of all parent, subsidiary and sister companies; and

Required characteristics for micro entity status:

  1. All applicants qualify for small entity status (see above); and
  2. No applicant was named as an inventor on more than 4 patent applications previously filed in the U.S. (not including provisional applications); and
  3. No applicant, and no entity to which any rights in the patent application were transferred, had a gross income that exceeded 3 times the median household income in the preceding calendar year [$184,116 in 2019 https://www.uspto.gov/patent/laws-and-regulations/micro-entity-status-gross-income-limit];


A transfer of a right includes an obligation in an agreement.