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USPTO Announces New Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently launched a new “Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program” on July 2, 2020. The Program allows for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals in US patent application prosecutions. The Program serves as an extension of the “Track One” prioritized examination program and is intended to provide applicants with another opportunity to expedite US patent prosecution. 

The petition fee for the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program is $400. The USPTO expects that the average ex parte appeal in the Program will be decided within six months from the date a petition is granted. The average pendency time for an ex parte appeal over the last five years has been between 14 and 30 months.

The USPTO is currently offering the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program on a “pilot” basis. Petitions for requesting inclusion in the Program will be accepted until 500 appeals have been accorded fast-track status, or until July 2, 2021, whichever occurs earlier. The USPTO may choose to extend the Program on either a temporary or permanent basis in the future.

The Track One prioritized examination program was initially created in 2011, and the USPTO has deemed it to be very successful. The USPTO expects the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program to be similarly successful.  Fast-track programs can hasten the patentability determinations on new inventions and the pace at which products or services are brought to market.

Please contact one of Boardman Clark’s Intellectual Property (IP) attorneys for further information regarding the USPTO’s new Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program.  The USPTO’s announcement can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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