IP Cases & Articles

Good news from the USPTO: reduction in official fees for smaller-sized applicants

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced that the small and micro entity status discounts for utility patents, design patents and plant patents have been increased from 50% and 75%, to 60% and 80% respectively, with immediate effect.

As background, these discounts are applicable to smaller-sized entities seeking patent protection at the USPTO.

The discounts are applicable to most of the official fees payable in the process to obtain such patent protection.

Roughly speaking, small entity status can often be applicable to any entity seeking patent protection in the USA that is:

  1. an individual;
  2. a small business in which the number of employees does not exceed 500 (including any affiliated companies); and/or
  3. non-profit organisations, including universities.

Micro entity status is more limitedly applicable, and the requirements for this are as set out by the USPTO on its website: dycip.com/usptomicro-entity.

Note that these discounts, as well as being applicable to official fees incurred during the initial application process for the patent right in question, are also applicable to any renewal fees, which might need to be paid to keep the patent right in force for its full term, after the patent is granted. For example, the total official renewal fees which would need to be paid to maintain a US utility patent in force, for the maximum term of protection, currently stand at USD $13,460. However with a small entity discount applied, this can lower these official renewal fee payments down to USD $5,384, which represents a significant saving.


It is clear that this announcement from the USPTO will be of tremendous news to many smaller-sized entities seeking to protect their IP in the USA via patent protection.

Indeed, as well as helping to reduce their costs in obtaining future patent protection in the USA, the discounts will also significantly help reduce the costs of maintaining any existing US patent rights through to their full term. Bravo to the USPTO!

USPTO announcement

View the USPTO announcement “Patent fees for small and micro entities reduced”, 30 December 2022.

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USPTO fee schedule

View the USPTO fee schedule.

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