On December 29, 2022, the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022 (the “Act”) was signed into law by President Biden. The Act provides an additional discount on patent fees for small and micro entities at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
A small entity is a business with less than 500 employees (including affiliates), a qualifying non-profit organization, or an individual who has not assigned, licensed, or otherwise conveyed or promised to convey an interest in the invention to a non-small entity. A micro entity is one that qualifies as a small entity while simultaneously meeting micro entity criteria, based on either a gross income basis (with the additional requirement that neither the applicant nor the inventor has been named as an inventor on more than four (4) previously filed patent applications) or on a basis of higher education (for which the majority of the applicant’s income must be obtained from an institution of higher education in the United States).
The small entity discount increased by 10% to a total of 60%, and the same for micro entities went up by 5% for a total discount of 80%. USPTO Director Kathi Vidal stated that the Act will help “support small inventors, start-ups, and those traditionally underrepresented in the innovation ecosystem.”