Assume Bob files 3 apps as a micro entity, and rightfully so.

Bot misunderstand the rules, and thinks only 4 apps can be claimed as a micro entity.

To twist it further, he decides that patent 5 is more important than 4 so he asserts claims micro entity status on the patent 5, and pays for as a small entity.

Bob subsequently realized that he could have filed both patent 4 and 5 as a micro entity, and now has a 6th patent application.

Can he claim micro entity status thereon since he never used the relief therein for a total of 5 apps or no?

1 Answer 1


NO - one is not entitled to a certain number of micro-entity filings.

The section of the form one must sign -

1.27. (2) APPLICATION FILING LIMIT – Neither the applicant nor the inventor nor a joint inventor has been named as the inventor or a joint inventor on more than four previously filed U.S. patent applications, excluding provisional applications and international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for which the basic national fee under 37 CFR 1.492(a) was not paid, and also excluding patent applications for which the applicant has assigned all ownership rights, or is obligated to assign all ownership rights, as a result of the applicant’s previous employment.

You will see that you would be asserting that you have not previously filed more than four previous applications. It does not say more than four micro-entity filings. When it first went into effect anyone who had already filed five applications could not sign this and would never get even one micro-entity filing.

A warning - You might see that this is a simple black and white reading of the words on the form. The things you will deal with in being a pro se applicant will often be much, much, more complicated and subtle.

  • Thank you very much, I'm going right ahead and submit a new question based on this new information! Jun 11, 2021 at 19:59

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