USPTO Issues Final Rules to Implement Prioritized Examination Track (Track I)


In June 2010, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) proposed a threetrack patent application examination system, whereby the applicants are given greater control over when their original patent applications are examined. Under the proposal, applicants would be able to: (1) request prioritized examination (Track I); (2) request a delay for examination (Track III); or (3) obtain processing under the current examination procedure (Track II) by not requesting either Track I or Track III.

On April 4, 2011, the USPTO issued a final rule to implement the Prioritized Examination Track (Track I) by allowing applicants to request prioritized examination with a payment of a $4,000 request fee. The goal of Track I is to provide eligible patent applications a final disposition within 12 months of the request being granted.

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