The USPTO has LOWERED the cost of filing and prosecuting patent applications for small and micro entities. The USPTO filing fees for small entities (generally, companies with fewer than 500 employees) is now 40% of the filing fee for large entities, down from 50%. The USPTO fees for micro entities (generally, academics and individual inventors who have filed fewer than five patent applications and had an income of less than $212,000 last year) is now 20% of the fees for large entities, down from 25%.
For example, the USPTO fee for filing a provisional patent application is now $120 and $60 for small and micro entities, respectively, down from $150 and $75. The base USPTO fee for utility applications is now $792 and $364 for small and micro entities, respectively, down from $830 and $400. All other USPTO fees for small and micro entities are similarly reduced.
The reduced fees went into effect on January 1, with no fanfare. Many applicants and patent holders paid fees at the higher rates and will be refunded the difference automatically without having to file a refund request.
— Robert Yarbrough, Esq.