USPTO Fast Track Examination Option begins May 4

On April 4, 2011, the USPTO has published regulations for implementing fast track prioritized examination (Track I of the 3-Track Proposal, published June 4, 2010).

To qualify for Track I the application must be a utility application and have no more than four (4) independent claims and thirty (30) total claims. The fast track prioritization will be terminated upon the filing of a petition for extension of time. A pre-filing search is not necessary. The PTO fee is $4,000.00 for both large and small entities.

A prioritized application will be given special status throughout prosecution, with the USPTO's goal being final disposition (allowance, appeal, abandonment, or Request for Continued Examination) within twelve months of the grant of prioritized status.

The USPTO has limited prioritized examination to the first 10,000 requests filed during 2011.

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