Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

USPTO Opens Application Exchange Program to All Applicants.

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on May 18, 2010

Per this press release yesterday at the USPTO:

USPTO Opens Application Exchange Program to All Applicants to Reduce Patent Backlog

“Project Exchange” Expanded and Extended to Enable All Applicants to Expedite Processing of a Pending Application in Exchange for Withdrawal of an Unexamined Pending Application

WASHINGTON – The Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the expansion to all applicants of its “Project Exchange” program. Under the expanded Project Exchange, which will take effect with the publication of the Federal Register notice in the coming weeks, any applicant with more than one application, filed prior to the inception of the program, currently pending at the USPTO can receive expedited review of one application in exchange for withdrawing an unexamined application. The expanded Project Exchange will give all applicants with multiple filings greater control over the priority in which their applications are examined and enable priority applications to be examined on an expedited basis. By providing incentives for applicants to withdraw unexamined applications that may no longer be important to them, Project Exchange is expected to appreciably reduce the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO.

The expanded Project Exchange will be limited to 15 applications per entity through December 31, 2010.

“This week marks the 50th anniversary of the invention of the laser—a transformational invention that has spawned many other critical inventions, created new industries and generated jobs,” noted Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “Inventions like the laser remind us of the need for the USPTO to do everything we can to enable the next great innovation to come to market. Project Exchange will help us reduce the backlog and enable us to process applications more quickly.”

The program continues on a temporary basis, and applicants who wish to take advantage of the program must submit the necessary materials before the designated extended deadline of December 31, 2010. Whereas new patent applications are normally taken up for examination in the order they are filed, applications made special under this pilot will be advanced in the examination queue.

Additional details on the program will be available soon in the Federal Register and on the USPTO Web site.

For non-press inquiries, contact Pinchus M. Laufer, Office of the Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by phone at 571-272-7726 or e-mail Pinchus.Laufer@uspto.gov.

JW Note:  We have heard a USPTO representative refer to this program as the “Dump One, Bump One” program.  An interesting concept with a hilarious nickname!

One Response

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  1. Gena777 said, on May 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I preferred the original version of this program, which limited participation to small and medium-sized companies. I suppose the patent law office didn’t have much choice other than to extend this program to large companies, since the patent application backlog has reached critical mass. But won’t the big corporations be able to game the system by paying for initial BS applications and then withdrawing them, just to speed approval of their “real” patents? Has the USPTO come up with any safeguards to prevent this kind of thing, or will we just have to deal with it?


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