U.S. Patent Accelerants for 2024

April 23, 2024
Created by 
Wael Mouhsine
Edited by 
John Hocker

Disclaimer

The following slides are intended for educational purposes only. These slides are NOT to be interpreted as legal advice.

Accelerated Patent Techniques:
What are they?

US patent applicants can expedite their application process through fast-track options, providing a faster and more efficient path to final disposition compared to standard processing. 

Accelerating the patent examination process means bypassing the queue and getting ahead in line.

1) Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)

Requirements:

At least one allowed claim from a foreign country (or WIPO international application).

No USPTO (government) Fees

Source: USPTO - Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)

2) Petition to Make Special

Requirements:

A) Inventor’s Health Causing Predicted Unavailability (with Doctor’s Note);

B) Inventors Age (65+); or

C) Enhance the environment, conserve/develop energy resources or counter terrorism.

Note: A through C requires NO USPTO PETITION FEES.

  • There are other ways to petition to make special (e.g., stayed litigation) with petition fees required. 

Source: MPEP § 708.02

3) First-Time Filers (Pilot Program)

Purpose: "Lowering time-based barriers for inventors and enabling them to bring their innovations to impact more rapidly."

Required:

A) Each inventor's first non-provisional application;

B) Micro-entity certification (small entity & less than $21,2352 gross income).

NO USPTO PETITION FEES.

Limits: Ends March 11, 2024, or when 1,000 petitions granted.

Source: USPTO First-Time Filer Expedited Examination Program

4) Track One

Eligibility Criteria

  • Everyone is eligible (even RCEs)

USPTO Fees for Track One

  • $4,200 for undiscounted;
  • $1,680 for small entity;
  • $840 micro entity.

Average Track One Pendency From Petition Grant to Final Disposition

Source: USPTO - 25 Prioritized Examination Track One

5) Accelerated Examination

Eligibility Criteria

A) Must have a Statement of Pre-examination Search;

B) Must have an Examination Support Document.

Note: This approach may be seen as undesirable because the Applicant must take a position on the allegedly novel and nonobvious claim features.

Source: USPTO Accelerated Examination

6) Patents for Humanity: Green Energy

USPTO awards competition.

Award: Transferrable acceleration certificate to expedite select USPTO proceedings, as well as public recognition, including the awards ceremony.

Requirements

  1. Tech (in U.S. Patent or Patent App.), addresses green energy, e.g., wind, solar, green hydrogen, hydropower, geothermal, or biofuels;
  2. Meaningful actions to make available [or data about potential impact] to the marketplace;
  3. Deployment benefits the environment by making energy renewable, sustainable, cleaner, or greener;
  4. At least one allowed U.S. patent claim is required before the certificate is issued.

Deadline: Sept 15, 2023

Source: USPTO Patents for Humanity: Green Energy

7) Climate Change Mitigation

Requirements

Applications must contain one or more claims to a product or process that mitigates climate change by being designed to:

A) Remove greenhouse gasses already present in the atmosphere;

B) Reduce and/or prevent additional greenhouse gas emissions;

C) Monitor, track, and/or verify greenhouse gas emission reductions.

No USPTO (government) fees are required.

Program Ends: June 7, 2027

Source: USPTO Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program

8) Rocket Docket

Design Patents Only

Eligibility Criteria

A) Expedited Design Examination Fee ($1,600 undiscounted, $640 small entity, $320 micro entity);

B) Pre-examination search;

C) An Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) citing known, relevant prior art

Source: MPEP § 1504.30

9) Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program

The Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program expedites patent reviews for innovations in semiconductor production, cost reduction, and supply chain enhancement.

Eligible Applications

A) Non-continuing original utility non provisional applications; and

B) Original utility non provisional applications that claim the benefit of the filing date under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, 365(c), or 386(c) of only one prior application that is either a nonprovisional application or an international application designating the United States.

Technology requirement: Applications must contain at least one claim that covers a process or an apparatus for manufacturing a semiconductor device and that corresponds to one or more of the technical concepts within H10 or H01L.

Program Ends: December 2, 2024

Source: USPTO Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program

U.S. Patent Accelerants for 2024:

  1. PPH (non-US allowance)
  2. Petition to Make Special (Age 65+, Health, etc.)
  3. First-Time Filers Pilot
  4. Track One ($$$)
  5. Accelerated Examination (Pre-exam Search & Support Document)
  6. Patents for Humanity (Green Energy)
  7. Climate Change Mitigation
  8. Rocket Docket ($$$ + Pre-Exam Search)
  9. Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program

Thanks for reading!

All information in this post was sourced directly from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Originally published
here

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