Small Entity Patenting

The chart above is based primarily on maintenance fee data that includes statements regarding whether the patentee is a "small entity" and also from the recent inclusion of small entity information in the USPTO annual reports. 

14 thoughts on “Small Entity Patenting

  1. LOL – close.

    Healthy progeny would be justice, while the true power in this type of relationship is the female, so it is the nonchalant SCOTUS as the female that is walking away, leaving the fawning and feckless male CAFC sprawling on the ground in its attempt to mate with the disaster of jurisprudence of 101.

  2. There is another factor at play here which is a much more positive one. Patent holders like universities lose their small entity status when they license their technology to corporations and operating companies. so the number paying small entity status goes down when patents are licensed as well as when they are abandoned.

  3. I have a different take.

    The hapless male, all unco-ordinated members, incapable of just getting on and doing what he’s supposed to do, is called SCOTUS.

    The hapless female, receptive but frustrated, is called CAFC.

    We are the onlookers, willing them on, waiting apprehensively, but ever in hope, for robust and healthy progeny.

  4. As I said – the numbers I presented are based solely on the patent issuance numbers (not touching the renewal numbers)

    The story is a bit different than the chart provided.

  5. The numbers being used likely have nothing to do with actual payment of maintenance. The fourth year fee data (which is hopefully the only fee window being used) is the first chance we (non-USPTO folks) have to determine large vs. small patent ownership.

  6. Why do you think it has gone down steadily since 2000?

    Except the percentage seems to have stopped going down in 2008 … Remind me: did something happen with the economy in 2008? Perhaps a change in the behavior of large entities is primarily responsible for the observed change in the trend …?

  7. Important to note: patents where the maintenance fees aren’t paid go away. Small entities are much more likely to let the patent lapse if they’re not monetizing it. Big companies just renew them all because it’s inefficient to track them.

    This causes the percentage to go down.

    The more important number is the small entity issue number.

  8. My quick estimate of raw number of patents for small entities (based only on new patent grants and an estimate of the percentages from the graph above) are the following, starting in 1992:

    32135
    29168
    29803
    33190
    32129
    34396
    36484
    51690
    51062
    49431
    47998
    47199
    47852
    44605
    37994
    45336
    40422
    36287
    38557
    49095
    51048

    There was a huge jump in 1999, with the last decade largely flat with a double dip in 2006 and then in 2009-2010 – neither of which dip went below the pre-1999 levels.

    And that’s the rest of the story (said in the best Paul Harvey tones)

  9. It would be interesting to view the raw numbers and not just the percentage (perhaps it is only the percentage that has gone down steadily…)

    What a coincidence, that’s exactly what I said the last time we saw this very graph.

  10. It would be interesting to view the raw numbers and not just the percentage (perhaps it is only the percentage that has gone down steadily…)

  11. Why do you think it has gone down steadily since 2000? What do you project for the future?
    Do you have an explanation for this trend?
    Any guesses as to how the new micro-entity status will affect the number of patents held by small and micro entities in the future?

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