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Got a call this week from a potential client asking about the government fees related to patent applications. Specifically he was asking "what's up with the ArmillaryIP website stating government fees for provisional patent applications are 'usually $65'?" I replied that I also hated the vague wording of "usually", but given the USPTO's three-tier fee structure, vague was the best we could do before knowing a little more about the inventor.

USPTO breaks down their fee schedule into three categories: 1)Micro entity, 2)Small entity, and 3)Standard. The current (2013) USPTO fee schedule can be found here. The 2014 USPTO fee schedule can be found here.

  1. Micro entity: Most individual inventors fall into this category. The inventor's annual gross income must be less than $150,000, and the inventor must not have more than four previous utility patents. An inventor can also qualify for micro entity status if they are associated with an accredited university.
  2. Small entity: To qualify, the inventor must be an individual, a small business, a university, or non-profit organization.
  3. Standard: Inventors that don't qualify for Micro entity or Small entity status.


For provisional utility patent applications, this is the breakdown for government fees:

  1. Micro entity: $65
  2. Small entity: $130
  3. Standard: $260


For non-provisional utility patent applications, this the breakdown for government fees:

  1. Micro entity: $400
  2. Small entity: $800
  3. Standard: $1600


For design patent applications, this is the breakdown for government fees:

  1. Micro entity: $190
  2. Small entity: $380
  3. Standard: $760

 

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