New Micro Entity status will be available for applications filed on or after March 19th, 2013. Most individual inventors will qualify for micro-entity status and will receive a 75% fee reduction.
Section 10(g) of the America Invents Act introduces a new definition and segment of applicants – micro entities – that are distinct from the small entities provided for under 35 U.S. C. § 41(h)(1). The micro entity definition is added to 35 U.S.C. by introducing a new Section 123 to Title 35. The AIA defines a micro entity as an applicant who certifies that he/she:
1) Qualifies as a small entity;
2) Has not been named as an inventor on more than 4 previously filed patent applications;
3) Did not, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is paid, have a gross income exceeding 3 times the median household income; and
4) Has not assigned, granted, or conveyed (and is not under obligation to do so) a license or other ownership interest in the application concerned to an entity that, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is paid, had a gross income exceeding 3 times the median household income.
When applying the micro-entity definition, applicants are not considered to be named on a previously-filed application if he/she has assigned, or is obligated to assign, ownership rights as a result of previous employment. The definition includes applicants who are employed by an institute of higher education (as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1001(a)) and have assigned, or are obligated to assign, ownership to that institute of higher education.