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Small Entity Qualification

posted Jan 12, 2013, 12:48 AM by Robert Crownover   [ updated Jan 12, 2013, 10:44 AM ]
During patent prosecution fees can be drastically reduced by filing as a small entity. The discount in the USPTO fee schedule is nearly 50%.  

In order to qualify for these small entity discounts an applicant must qualify as a small entity under 37 CFR 1.27(a). An applicant can qualify as a small entity if the applicant(s) is/are: 
1) a person
2) a small business concern, or 
3) a non-profit; and 
4) the rights to the application are not assigned, licensed or under an obligation to assign or license to an entity that does not qualify as a small entity.

A person under this statute means just that, a person. 

A small entity concern means a business entity that meets the size standards set forth in 13 CFR 121.801 through 121.805 which is a business entity with no more than 500 employees. This includes affiliates. 

Exceptions to the assignment and license rule do exist but are very limited.