Track-1 Prioritized Filing System Starts

A new Patent filing prioritization system, known as Track-1, will begin as of May 4th, 2011.

Track-1 filing will offer a shortened examination period, goal of a 12 month turn around to final disposition, for an extra fee of $4000.  The filing must meet certain criteria to be eligible for Track-1 prioritization.

Requirements for Track-1:

  1. Application must be filed on or after May 4, 2011 using the the USPTO's electronic filing system
  2. Application must be "complete"
  3. The request for prioritized application must be filed with the application itself
  4. Application may contain no more than four independent and thirty total claims
  5. The $4,000 fee must be paid in addition to the normal filing fees.

USPTO asserts that it cannot offer a small-entity discount.

Specifically, the Office proposed to implement procedures under which an applicant would be able to: (1) Request prioritized examination of an original utility or plant nonprovisional application (Track I)

(2) request a delay in docketing the application for examination by filing a request for delay in payment of the search fee, the examination fee, the claims fees and the surcharge (if appropriate) for a maximum period not to exceed thirty months in an original utility or plant application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) (Track III); or

(3) obtain processing under the current examination procedure (Track II) by not requesting either Track I or Track III processing.

USPTO Press Release

Federal Registrar Notice of Implementation

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