IP Update, Vol. 9, No. 2 (7 April 2011)

Editors: Marc S. Weiner, Esq. and Nicholas P. Godici

USPTO Announces Fast-Track Patent Processing

The USPTO announced that it will begin accepting requests for a new fee-based prioritized examination program of patent applications on May 4, 2011. This new program, known as Track-One processing, is the first stage of implementation of the Three-Track examination system proposed by the USPTO in June 2010.

The fee for Track-One prioritized examination is $4000 in addition to normal filings fees. At the present time the USPTO does not have the statutory authority to grant a small entity discounted fee for Track-One processing but is working with Congress to establish a small entity discount.The USPTO goal for processing Track-One applications is to provide final disposition of the application within twelve months. The number of applications granted Track-One status will be limited to 10,000 through September 30, 2011.

To be granted Track-One processing the following conditions must be met: 1) the application must be newly filed on or after May 4, 2011 under 35 U.S.C. 111(a); the application must be complete under 37 CFR 1.51(b) including the required oath or declaration and all fees; the application must be filed electronically via EFS-Web; the application must contain no more than four independent claims and thirty claims total. Applicants will not be permitted to petition for an extension of time or file amendments that result in a number of claims in excess of the four and thirty limit. Multiple dependant claims are also not permitted.

Further details may be found in the following USPTO announcement.

Summary provided by Nicholas P. Godici

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