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My concern is the loss of micro-entity (ME) status on other previous filings due to the 5th ME filing (all gross income). The Rules commentary indicate: "Finally, while being named as an inventor in other applications may affect an applicant’s ability to claim micro entity status in an application, status as a micro entity in one application does not affect the status of other applications." What does this last italicized segment mean?

I take this to mean, (1) if you already have filed 4 ME apps, you are allowed to file a 5th ME app, since at that time of filing, you are NOT listed on more than four previously-filed apps. So after filing the 5th, now you have 5 previously-filed ME apps at the PTO. At this time, you lose ME status under gross income. It seems to me that if you no longer file any additional patent apps, and understanding the above rule clause status as a micro entity in one application does not affect the status of other applications, you do not lose ME status, and should be able to continue to pay ME fees on all five apps to include RCEs, issue fees and maintenance fees, etc.? Is this correct?

If the above is true, when is the Loss of Entity Status form used?

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You are correct about being able to file the 5th application as micro entity.

You say “At this time, you lose ME status under gross income.” I’m not sure what you mean. You can’t file more micro-entity applications but you haven’t can still pay micro-entity level fees in all 5 applications.

If your income or other qualifying state changes such that you do not meet the criteria, then you need to start paying small entity fees for new fees (RCE, issue fee, etc.) on all applications.

But filing the 5th one goes not change the facts of your income. You can’t file more micro entity applications but can keep paying the micro-entity fee level on the existing 5 applications as long as you still meet the income requirement.

CFR section 1.29(i) Notification of a loss of entitlement to micro entity status must be filed in the application or patent prior to paying, or at the time of paying, any fee after the date on which status as a micro entity as defined in paragraph (a) or (d) of this section is no longer appropriate. The notification that micro entity status is no longer appropriate must be signed by a party identified in § 1.33(b). Payment of a fee in other than the micro entity amount is not sufficient notification that micro entity status is no longer appropriate. A notification that micro entity status is no longer appropriate will not be treated as a notification that small entity status is also no longer appropriate unless it also contains a notification of loss of entitlement to small entity status under § 1.27(f)(2)[1.27(g)(2) ]. Once a notification of a loss of entitlement to micro entity status is filed in the application or patent, a new certification of entitlement to micro entity status is required to again obtain micro entity status.

Unlike micro-entity, small entity applies to all later fees if you qualify at the time of filing.

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  • Thank you for your exhaustive answer! By losing gross income status, I mean losing ME status under gross income, since I would now have 5 ME filings--all subsequent fillings must be at least SE status. (Let's not worry about educational ME stuff.)
    – user28457
    Feb 26, 2023 at 19:00
  • So there are two requirements to the ME-Gross Income status: the "no more than 4..." clause, and the "not exceeding the current gross income" clause. Now let's consider that I file a 6th app for this same client, and client does NOT yet exceed the current gross income requirement. The client no longer qualifies as ME under the "no more than four..." clause, but still has not failed under the "gross income" clause.
    – user28457
    Feb 26, 2023 at 19:35
  • So you are saying that as long as client's gross income does NOT exceed the current dollar amount, he still pays ME fees on the first 5 until there is a loss of status, which could ONLY occur by the EXCEEDING the gross income requirement? For this 6th filing, he must file as SE and pay SE fees for this case only, but this does not affect the ME fees for the previous 5 filing since he still wins under gross income?
    – user28457
    Feb 26, 2023 at 19:35
  • The only way the fees for the other 5 apps would be affected is if he now exceeds the current gross income amount? In which case he is now Small Entity (SE) for ALL the apps requiring PTO fees? Correct?
    – user28457
    Feb 26, 2023 at 19:36
  • You said, "Unlike micro-entity, small entity applies to all later fees if you qualify at the time of filing."
    – user28457
    Feb 26, 2023 at 19:39

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