The patentlyo blog has a nice write up on what is required for a person or entity to qualify for micro-entity status and the resultant 75% off of patent fees. In general, the applicant needs to answer the following:
- Does the applicant qualify as a small entity? (If no, then no micro-entity);Has the applicant or any joint inventor filed more than four US non-provisional patent applications? (If yes, then no micro-entity, unless those applications were from a prior employment and assigned to the prior employer);
- Did the applicant or any listed inventor have an income for the past year that was greater than $150,000? (If yes, then no micro-entity). This number will change annually based upon median US household income; and
- Have rights in the application been promised or licensed to a non-micro-entity? (If yes, then no micro-entity).