Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Your Grantable Ticket, Please?

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on August 29, 2006

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.

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