Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Accelerated Review of Patent Applications

On March 13 the USPTO granted the first patent under its new accelerated review program. The patent was granted 6 months after the application was filed, 18 months earlier than the usual 2 year pendency. Accelerated review means that the applicant will have a final decision with 12 months of filing.

Per the USPTO Guidelines for Applicants Under the Accelerated Examination Procedure, to qualify for accelerated review, an applicant must:
  1. Submit the petition and fee (where appropriate)
  2. File the request with respect to an application filed under 35 USC 111(a)
  3. File the application via the EFS or EFS-Web; also all follow-on submissions
  4. File a complete application complying with 37 CFR 1.51
  5. File 3 or fewer independent claims and no more than 20 claims total
  6. File an application for a single invention or agree to elect without traverse a single invention for examination
  7. Agree to an interview with the examiner to discuss any outstanding issues arising in the examination process
  8. Conduct a pre-examination search
  9. Provide an accelerated examination support document

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Vote on What Patents Should be Approved

According to this Washington Post article, the USPTO is piloting a new project in which the general public can comment on pending patent applications.