Expedited Patent Service
We can expedite your prosecution of patent applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO has established various programs to expedite processing of patent applications. Each of these programs has different conditions for use. Based on your situation, we can guide you in selecting the appropriate program.
Track One Prioritized Examination (i.e., Track One)
This program is the most popular due to the extraordinary success such filings have achieved since being introduced in 2011. Track One is a procedure for expediting the date on which the USPTO will take up an application for review. Although there are several procedural steps to complete a Track One filing, the key difference as compared to non-Track One filings is the prioritized filing fee. The prioritized filing fee is currently $4,000 US for large entities and $2,000 for qualifying small entities. The USPTO's goal is to complete final disposition within twelve months of the application being granted prioritized special status. Final disposition means that the application is either allowed or that a final office action is issued by the USPTO.
If the goal is to achieve quick allowance, we recommend that Track One applications be prepared with medium scope claims and that a search be conducted. Although a search is not required, having knowledge of the prior art will allow us to better draft your claims for potential expedited allowance.
This program is more burdensome than a Track One filing because it requires that the applicant conduct a search and also prepare and file an examination support document. The examination support document is akin to an examination by the USPTO. In essence, the applicant is required to examine the claims of the filed application, apply the closest prior art to the claims and present arguments for patentability over the art. Once the application is filed and approved by petition, the applicant is required to participate in a pre-examination interview. One benefit of the accelerated examination program relative to the Track One program is that the USPTO filing fees are much lower (the filing fees are similar to the fees for standard non-provisional filings).
Patent Prosecution Highway
This program is useful for applicants that have an established foreign filing program. For applicants that regularly file applications in other participating foreign patent offices, a positive exam result (i.e., allowed claims) can be shared with the USPTO to possibly expedite allowance. This program, however, is only usable if the US application has not yet received a first office action. In some art units, first examination delay can be significant, and for such applications the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) should be considered. For clients that have co-pending foreign applications or wish to build a global filing program, PPH should be strategically used to save costs and expedite allowance. PPH also works for expediting corresponding foreign applications using allowed US claims, so this program should be strategically considered in the prosecution of foreign applications.