The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a specifically geared to small inventors and entrepreneurs. Under the USPTO Inventors Assistance Program, inventors who qualify as a small entity (e.g., independent inventor, a small business, or a nonprofit organization) are eligible for a 50 percent reduction in the USPTO's filing, issue and maintenance fees. That translates into a savings of thousands of dollars when compared to what large corporations pay.
"The USPTO Inventors Assistance Program that is specifically geared to small inventors and entrepreneurs by:
- Creating and posting computer training modules on the USPTO Web site.
- Posting podcasts on the iTunes system. The computer-based training
- module, "Concept to Protection," has proven to be very popular.
- Webcasting presentations to university business and entrepreneurship classes
- Receiving and responding to inventor questions via a dedicated mailbox:firstname.lastname@example.org
- Staffing a dedicated toll-free number for independent inventor inquiries (1- 800-786-9199)
- Maintaining an Inventors Resource page within the USPTO Web site
- Hosting education conferences. For example, the 15th Annual Independent Inventors conference was held at the USPTO campus November 4-5, 2010, and brought inventors together with private- and public-sector experts in intellectual property and entrepreneurship."
The USPTO also offers other programs that benefit independent inventors and small business, including:
Accelerated Examination, designed to give applicants quality patents in less time guarantees final action within one year. In return applicants are required to provide examiners more detailed information as part of their applications, including closest prior art.
First Action Interview Pilot, provides applicants an interview with the patent examiner before the first office action, a process which helps to identify potential problems early on and speed the patent process.
Pilot Program to Accelerate the Patent Process for Small Entity Inventors, which provides applicants a speedier review of a patent application if they agree to abandon a previous co-pending unexamined application.
EFS Legal Notice, which allows contractors rather than employees to submit the patent application documents via the EFS-Web electronic system.
SAC Attorneys LLP was named one of the Top US Patent Firm for 2010 by Intellectual Property Today®. We assist companies in Silicon Valley and beyond, including San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Oakland, San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, South San Francisco, Daly City, Cupertino, Saratoga and Emeryville.
Call our San Jose intellectual property attorneys today to learn more.