It can take years to get a patent. But there are some things you can do to expedite the process.
Track 1 Requests
Prioritized examination is available for a fee at the time of filing an original, non-provisional, utility or plant patent application.
The fee is either $2000 or $4000, based on the applicant’s number of employees. The lower fee is for applicants with fewer than 500 employees.
Track 1 requests take roughly seven to 14 months from filing until the patent is issued.
Accelerated Examination Requests
An accelerated examination request requires a “Petition to Make Special.”
Reasons accepted for special treatment without a fee are:
- the age or health of the applicant
- that the invention will materially:
- enhance the quality of the environment;
- contribute to the development or conservation of energy resources; or
- contribute to countering terrorism.
Petitions to make an application special for other grounds must be accompanied by a fee ranging from $35 to $140, based on the size of the applicant.
Patents to be handled on an accelerated basis must have no more than 20 claims.
Although the fees are lower than for Track 1 Requests, there is much more paperwork required for an Accelerated Examination Request.
Requests to Enter the Patent Prosecution Highway
We wrote about the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) in this blog.
As we noted,
This system allows a patent applicant which receives a ruling in one country’s patent office to request fast track treatment in another country.
There is no fee for this program, but the applicant must show that at least one claim has been allowed by a foreign patent office that’s a member of the Global Patent Prosecution Highway system.
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