USPTO Institutes Prioritized Examination for Patent Applications

As of September 26, the America Invents Act now grants Prioritized Examination (PE) for those companies/inventors willing to pay an additional application petition fee. The new PE program places applications on a prioritized “fast track” toward final disposition.

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), applications affiliated with the PE program should have decisions rendered in less than a year. The additional petition cost to submit a patent application into the PE program is $4,800 for large entities or $2,400 for small entities. PE applications are not eligible for additional micro-entity discounts.

In accordance with USPTO guidelines, the PE process allows four independent claims and 30 total claims subject to excess claim fees. A failure to follow the filing rules will result in the petition being dismissed or denied. Prosecution within the PE program is the standard three months. While the deadlines can be extended, doing so will void the application’s PE status and return it to the examiner’s standard docket.

As of today, the USPTO is limiting PE program participation to 10,000 applications during the USPTO fiscal year. To discuss the potential ramifications of this change on your patent portfolio, be sure to contact your Boyle Fredrickson attorney.


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Established in 1999, Boyle Fredrickson has grown to become Wisconsin’s largest intellectual property law firm. You’ve got ideas, we protect them.

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