The New Fast Track Program for Patent Appeals
If you applied for a patent and your application was denied twice, you retain the option to file a formal appeal of the examiner’s decision with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Generally, the appeals process can be time-consuming and is rife with inefficiencies. Fortunately, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office launched a new, temporary pilot program to try and improve the adjudication of appeals filed with the PTAB.
The new program, known as the “Fast Track Appeals Pilot Program” went into effect on July 2, 2020. Since it is in a fledgling stage, the pilot program is limited to only 125 patent appeals per quarter.
Why the USPTO Launched the Pilot Program
The USPTO launched this new pilot program primarily due to the popularity of its Track I Prioritized Examination Program for patent applications. Under the Track I program; an applicant has the ability to file a petition with the USPTO for expedited prosecution when filing a new application. However, this process requires paying an additional fee and is limited to patent applications (not appeals). Despite the additional expense, the Track I program is extremely popular. For example, in 2019, close to 3 percent of the patent applications were filed under the Track I program.
As a result of the popularity of the Track I program, the USPTO decided to establish the Fast Track Appeals program as an analogous process that would provide patent applications on appeal a similar expedited time frame.
How To Participate in the New Pilot Program
If you are interested in participating in this new patent appeal pilot program, an applicant must file a petition and pay a fee totaling $400. The petition may be filed any time after the notice of appeal is filed and the PTAB has docketed the appeal. However, it is important to note that your application is not eligible for this program if it was granted any other type of expedited status.
If your petition is granted, the PTAB will attempt to adjudicate your appeal within six months from the date the petition was granted. This is much faster compared to the typical time necessary to adjudicate an appeal. For example, the average appeal typically takes at least 15 months or more to adjudicate.
Pilot Program Only In Effect for Limited Duration
The fast track pilot program is expected to be in effect for around one year, or until 500 appeals are accepted, whichever occurs sooner. Though, the USPTO stated it may consider continuing the program past this limit, or may modify the program, depending on how well-utilized it is by applicants.
Have Questions about a Patent Application or Patent Infringement? Speak to an Experienced Patent Attorney Today
If you have questions about patent law or a patent application, now is the time to act and consult with the highly reputable Omni Legal Group. Whether it is a provisional patent, non-provisional patent, design patent, utility patent, or plant patent application, you can always expect the patent lawyers at Omni Legal Group to provide you with the care and attention you deserve. All of our attorneys are registered with the USPTO.
For further information or to schedule a consultation with a leading patent lawyer in Los Angeles, please contact the highly trusted Omni Legal Group at 310.276.6664 or visit www.OmniLegalGroup.com to learn more. We possess the knowledge, resources, and experience to assist you in your efforts to secure and protect your patent.Read More