(Short Article from PATENT VITAL, LLC)

Small entities are eligible for small entity discounts in many United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) fees for a patent application. However, 2 important requirements about small entity status may be mistakenly overlooked by some applicants. Such mistakes should be avoided.

(1) Some business entity may wonder whether it qualifies for a small entity status as long as the entity, including affiliates, has 500 or less employees. Meeting the requirement about the number of employees is not enough for a business entity to qualify for a small entity status in a patent application. To qualify for the small entity status, it is also required that the applicant has not assigned, granted, conveyed, or licensed, and is under no obligation under contract or law to assign, grant, convey, or license, any rights in the invention to a non-small entity.

(2) Some applicant may think determination of entitlement to small entity status is needed only at the initial filing of patent application. However, determination of entitlement to small entity status is required again when issue fee or maintenance fee is due.

From: PATENT VITAL, LLC | patentvital.com

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