Issue Date: April 18, 2011
Patent Office Will Add A Fast Track In May
The Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) says it will begin accepting requests for expedited patent examination on May 4. The fast-track program guarantees inventors and businesses that, for a fee, their applications will be processed in only 12 months, rather than the current average of nearly three years. The program, called Track One, is part of a new three-track system that will provide applicants with greater control over when their applications are examined. The other tracks will be a delayed track allowing for up to 30 months of inaction on the application and a traditional processing track. PTO says it expects the delayed track will be available to applicants by Sept. 30. Filing a request for prioritized examination will cost an additional $4,000 on top of the base examination fee of $1,090. To meet the 12-month goal, PTO will limit the number of applications in the program to 10,000 in the first year. “Track One provides a comprehensive, flexible patent application processing model to our nation’s innovators, offering different processing options that are more responsive to the real-world needs of our applicants,” PTO Director David J. Kappos said in a statement.
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