Your Grantable Ticket, Please?
As of August 25, 2006, the USPTO has established procedures under which the examination of a patent application may be accelerated. See USPTO Website, Accelerated Examination. Under these procedures the USPTO will advance an application out of turn for examination if the applicant files a grantable petition to make special.
In brief, to qualify for the new accelerated examination program, applicant must do the following:
1. Submit a petition to make special and a fee (where appropriate);
2. File a request with respect to an application filed under 37 CFR 1.111(a);
3. File an application via the EFS or EFS-Web; also all follow-on submissions;
4. File a complete application complying with 37 CFR 1.51;
5. File 3 or fewer independent claims and no more than 20 total claims;
6. File an application for a single invention or agree to elect without traverse a single invention for examination;
7. Agree to an interview with the examiner to discuss any outstanding issues arising in the examination process;
8. Conduct a pre-examination search; and
9. Provide an accelerated examination support document.
As I stated in my post “All Aboard the USPTO Express?,” I believe this program is an interesting proposition. It certainly remains to be seen whether this new procedure will be accepted by practitioners and/or have any appreciable impact on USPTO backlog.