509.04(c) Parties Who Can Sign the Micro Entity Certification [R-11.2013]

A certification of micro entity status, on either the gross income basis or the institution of higher education basis, can be signed only by an authorized party as set forth in 37 CFR 1.33(b), which includes:

  • (1) A patent practitioner of record;
  • (2) A patent practitioner not of record who acts in a representative capacity under the provisions of 37 CFR 1.34; or
  • (3) The applicant (37 CFR 1.42). Unless otherwise specified, all papers submitted on behalf of a juristic entity must be signed by a patent practitioner.

For joint inventor applicants, each joint inventor should sign a separate copy of the relevant micro entity certification form. However, if one joint inventor is appointed to prosecute the application on behalf of all the other joint inventors, then only that one joint inventor need sign the micro entity certification form. See USPTO form PTO/AIA/81, titled “Power Of Attorney To One Or More Of The Joint Inventors And Change Of Correspondence Address”, available on the USPTO forms Web page at www.uspto.gov/patent/patent-forms.

Additionally, if any applicant is an assignee or other party under 37 CFR 1.46, and the assignee or other party is a corporation or organization rather than a person, a registered practitioner must sign the certification of micro entity status. An officer of the assignee corporation, for example, is not authorized to sign a certification of micro entity status.