Last month the patent office started offering a discount for certain individuals and organizations that qualify as a micro entity. If you qualify, you can receive up to 75% off in most patent fees. According to my calculations, this may save you over $3900 during the life of an average patent.
How to qualify as a micro entity?
The two biggest ways to qualify are:
1. Have a gross income less than $151,000 during the past year
2. Have not filed more than 4 patent applications in the past (provisional applications do not count).
There are a few other things to consider to determine if you qualify. I suggest you find out using the free micro entity patent calculator which will calculate your status and email you a pdf confirmation of your results.