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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How can the Patent Examination Process be Accelerated?

A. Petition to Make Special (final disposition goal within 12 months)

        I.        the applicant's age or health (no fee);

        II.        the invention will materially (no fee);
                a)        enhance the quality of the environment;
                b)        contribute to the development or conservation of energy resources; or
                c)        contribute to countering terrorism.

        III.        accelerated examination program.
        Under the accelerated examination program the applicant can pay a fee of $30 to $140 depending on the type of applicant, and meet other requirements, below:

        a)        the application must contain three (3) or fewer independent claims and twenty (20) or few total claims.  The application may not contain any multiple dependent claims;
        b)        the applicant waives the right to separately argue the patentability of any dependent  claim during any appeal;
        c)        the claims must be directed to a single invention;
        d)        the applicant agrees to have (if requested by examiner) an interview to discuss the prior art and any potential rejections, and a telephonic interview to make an election without traverse;
        e)        the applicant must provide a pre-examination search statement that includes:
                i)         an information disclosure statement;
                ii)        an identification and waiver of all the limitations of the claims;
                iii)        a detailed explanation of how each of the claims are patentable over the cited references;
                iv)        a statement of utility as defined in the independent claims;
                v)        an identification of any cited reference that may be disqualified;
                vi)        a showing of where each limitation of the claims finds support having a proper written description under 35 U.S.C. 112.

B. Track One Prioritized Examination (final disposition goal of 12 months)
        This is a procedure for expedited examination upon payment of a fee and filing a petition, which may be granted or denied.  The fee is $4000.00 for a large entity, $2000.00 for a small entity, and $1000.00 for a micro-entity.

         The fees are higher than the petition to make special fees, but there are less filing requirements and less potential waiving of claim limitations.

C. An applicant can also attempt to accelerate the examination process in international applications using the Patent Prosecution Highway(PPH), which will not be discussed in this issue.


Copyright 2014 Robert J. Sayfie

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