We called the US PTO today to confirm one important point: universities and other applicants will have to wait for more rule-making to use the new micro entity status. This gives a 75% discount on many PTO fees for selected applicants, including qualified universities, per new 35 USC Section 123.
Many commentaries on patent reform have simply said the new micro entity law is effective September 16, 2011. However, rule-making must be considered.
Time will tell how long the wait is. University patenting and technology transfer is, of course, an important element of cleantech and nanotech.