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USPTO Pilots Program to Accelerate the Patent Process for Small Entity Inventors

Friday, November 06, 2009

Backlog Reduction for Small Entity Inventors Pilot Will Allow Small Entities to Gain Advancement for a Pending Application In Exchange for Abandoning Another Application

Washington, DC -- Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos has announced the agency intends to launch a pilot program that will give small entity inventors having two or more patent applications currently pending greater control over the priority in which their applications are examined while also reducing the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO. This pilot will allow a patent application from a small entity to receive special, accelerated status if the applicant is willing to abandon an application that has not been examined. The announcement was made at the 14th Annual Independent Inventors Conference, being held November 5-6 at the USPTO’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va.

"The program will accelerate protection for important innovations from independent inventors while reducing our unacceptable backlog," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "Getting these inventions to the marketplace quickly will also help stimulate the economy and create jobs."

The start date of the program will be announced in the coming weeks. The procedure is being adopted on a temporary basis, and applicants who wish to take advantage of the plan must submit the necessary materials before the designated deadline. Whereas new patent applications are normally taken up for examination in the order they are filed, applications made special under this pilot will be advanced out of turn to the front of the examination queue.

Additional details on the program will be available in the Federal Register and on the USPTO Web site in the weeks ahead.

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