On March 16, 2013 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), moved to the first-inventor-to-file system under the America Invents Act. Preparing and filing applications quickly is more important under this new system.
In addition, the USPTO has implemented the micro-entity status. Small businesses and individual inventors that qualify pay one half the small entity fees to file their patents. The fee to file a provisional application is only $65 and the fee to file a non-provisional is as low as $400 under the micro-entity status.