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The normal patent applicant at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can get to wait, typically, two years or even more after filing, before that coveted U.S. patent comes through: USPTO statistics show that applications in the semiconductor field, for instance, take the average 23.1 months from filing to issuance; and applications in the computer architecture field take the average 29.5 months.
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Such time frames aren’t ideal, due to the fact ideas get stolen or copied on a regular basis.
However, there are three approaches that savvy applicants may take, to expedite their applications through the agency, and get yourself a U.S. patent within their hands within 12 to 1 . 5 years after filing.
It’s understandable that a speed-up like this helps entrepreneurs turbo-charge their patent-portfolio development and score some quick wins — to improve their company’s valuation in preparation of a funding event, perhaps, or even to quicker obtain patent protection for a soon-to-be marketed product.
Listed below are those three approaches:
1. Pay reduced.
Easy and simple & most potent way to expedite examination is by using the USPTO’s Prioritized Patent Examination Program (often known as "Track One"). Beneath the program, a job candidate pays a supplementary fee (which range from $1,000 to $4,000, according to the applicant company’s size). That lets the application form jump the line and become examined by the USPTO before earlier-filed applications.
The USPTO’s stated goal is to see Track One examinations completed within 12 months, causeing this to be route highly appealing for applications in technologies that typically wait quite a long time to complete the USPTO.
But speed isn’t Track One’s only advantage. Using technologies, it provides the excess benefit of yielding an increased average allowance rate than does conventional processing. For instance, in the computer gaming field, Track One reduces the common pendency (time from filing to issuance) by a lot more than 10 months and escalates the average allowance rate by about 18 percent.
Gamblit Gaming and ACTION Network, for example, have used Track One with impressive results, outperforming the entire gaming sector averages at the USPTO with average pendency times of 14-to-17 months (when compared to gaming sector’s average of 27 months) and allowance rates greater than 90 percent (when compared to gaming sector’s average of 70 percent).
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2: Get face time with the examiner.
Talking to the USPTO examiner reviewing your patent application could be a simple but effective way to attain the issuance stage faster and more reliably.
Some communications between your USPTO examiner and the applicant occur on paper, the limitations of the written form could be both frustrating and inefficient for the applicant. For instance, he or she should explain personally some nuanced distinction between your invention and what existed before; and periodically fluid dialogue is far more advanced than time-consuming back-and-forth written communications.
Recognizing the inherent limitations of the written form, the USPTO allows applicants to speak directly with the USPTO examiner via telephone, web conference or in-person interviews.
The resulting interviews can prove tremendously helpful because they provide the examiner a human face to associate with the application form. Examiners are less inclined to create a flimsy or off-the-wall rejection of the application form in a face-to-face meeting.
It is also especially valuable to really have the inventor take part in the interview, when, for instance, the technology is complex, or there’s a compelling story regarding the way the invention was conceived or the problem was solved. Examiners, from their perspective, are often glad to meet up inventors personally, too, since inventor participation signifies the need for the application form instead of one that’s ordinary.
Interviews conducted early along the way can further assist in preventing misunderstandings that otherwise might create a longer and more costly patenting process. For instance, using the USPTO’s First Action Interview pilot program, a job candidate can request an interview prior to the examiner makes a short full evaluation of the application form. Thus giving the applicant the chance to influence the examiner’s knowledge of the invention immediately.
3: Hit the highway.
Another way to expedite a patent is by using the USPTO’s Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) to leverage excellent results from an examination which has recently been performed by a foreign patent office. Under PPH, the USPTO fast-tracks the study of U.S. patent applications with claims already allowed by a foreign patent office in a corresponding patent application.
Currently, the foreign patent offices qualified to receive PPH review are those in Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Korea and the uk, and also about 30 others.
As the USPTO still makes its independent evaluation of the application form, the PPH program can yield improved results over conventional processing. For instance, in the computer-gaming sector, the PPH program reduces the common pendency to about 1 . 5 years, with a rise of the common allowance rate by about ten percent.
The PPH program could be a particularly effective tool for companies with foreign patenting activities trying to benefit from their successes in foreign patent offices to quicker have the same scope of patent protection in america.
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Overall, few U.S. patent applicants will ever describe the patenting process as either quick or easy. But through the use of one or more of the methods, applicants can accelerate the procedure and increase their odds of achieving their patenting go