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For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney

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We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

Mountain View Office
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650.988.8500

San Francisco Office
555 California Street
13th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
415.875.2300

Seattle Office
1191 Second Avenue
10th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
206.389.4510

New York Office
1211 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, NY 10036
212.921.2001

Shanghai Office
Unit 908, 9/F, Kerry Parkside Office
No. 1155 Fang Dian Road
Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201204
P.R. China
+86 21 8017 1200


Qualifications for Claiming Small or Micro Entity Status

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) allows certain qualifying entities to receive discounts on various patent fees by identifying themselves as a “small entity” or a “micro entity.”  Below, we outline the requirements for claiming small or micro entity status. Please review the requirements carefully, because improperly claiming a discount may cause your patents to be unenforceable.

Your entitlement to small or micro entity status must be reviewed and reassessed upon (1) filing a new application, (2) paying the issue fee for a patent, and (3) paying each of the three patent maintenance fees.  Therefore, please inform us immediately if you believe there may be a change to your entity status so that we can update the USPTO accordingly.

Because of the way the rules are written, you may qualify for a discounted fee with respect to some applications but not others.

Small Entity

A small entity receives a 50% reduction in most USPTO fees. An applicant generally qualifies for small entity status if the applicant is:

  • an individual,
  • a company having not more than 500 employees, or
  • a non-profit organization (including  a university).

However, these entities do not qualify as a small entity if the claimed invention has been assigned, granted, conveyed, or licensed to a large entity (i.e., an entity that does not qualify as a small entity), or is under obligation under contract or law to assign, grant, convey, or license, any rights in the invention to a large entity.  It is for this reason that your entity status may vary from application to application, even if you would otherwise qualify for small entity status.

Micro Entity

A micro entity receives a 75% reduction in most USPTO fees.  An applicant generally qualifies as a micro entity if the applicant and inventors each have gross annual incomes less than three times the median household income for the preceding year (currently $153,051). Higher education institutions may also qualify for micro entity status. If you believe you may qualify and would like to consider this option, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you further.

More Information
Please contact us to discuss any additional questions you might have about small or micro entity status. The USPTO also provides information about these topics at the following links:

www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s509.html
www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/AC54_Small_Entity_Compliance_Guide_Final.pdf
http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/fees.jsp
http://www.uspto.gov/patents/law/micro_entity.jsp