Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Track I - Prioritized Patent Examination

Blogger Gene Quinn interviewed Director Kappos about challenges facing the PTO.

Director Kappos showed enthusiasm for Track I prioritized examination. An applicant requests Track I by filing a one page PTO form and paying $4,800 (large entity) or $2,400 (small entity) for a maximum of 30 claims and 4 independent claims. This should result in a 12-month patent process. 

The PTO has received a few thousand Track I requests since the program began on September 26, 2011. The program closes (unless extended) this fiscal year once 10,000 requests are granted.  

The early results are remarkable compared to the status quo. Instead of years of delay, a patent application is examined in one month. Further, the Commissioner of Patents, Peggy Focarino reports that the PTO has mailed Office actions in all Track I applications within 70 days of the filing date.

Track I could result in a quick final rejection, but I don't see how this is worse than receiving a final rejection after a long passage of time. In any event, Commissioner Focarino blogs the denial/grant rate is similar to regular patent applications. 

Whatever the case, on December 19, 2011, this PTO press release states the rules now permit requesting Track I after filing a request for continued examination (RCE). 

Professor Crouch's blog post provides additional details on Track I. 

Track I can speed the patent process as long as you are willing to spend the money.  

Copyright © 2012 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.