USPTO Unveils Fast-Track Patent Plan

Inventors with two or more patent applications pending at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can have one of their patents fast-tracked — “jumped to the head of the line,” in the words of USPTO director David Kappos — provided inventors abandon one of their less pressing applications, reports Inventors Digest.

The move is part of a sweeping and — in some circles — controversial set of reforms he intends to implement to help reduce the backlog of 770,000 pending applications — a backlog that is hamstringing innovation and job creation, Kappos said. (One USPTO staffer says the backlog is closer to 800,000.)

The program, he said, “is specifically designed to accelerate the patent process for independent inventors. This backlog reduction pilot project will be made available only to small and medium-sized entities and will give you the opportunity to receive special, accelerated status for a new application if you abandon a pending, unexamined application.

Photo by USPTO.

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