Most US patent applications will sit on an examiner’s desk for a year (or more) before the examination process even begins. From start to finish, obtaining approval for your application can take two years or more. It may be advantageous in some circumstances to obtain a patent earlier – such as to improve the amount, or likelihood of obtaining investment for a business related to the invention. So what can you do if you have a patent application that can’t wait for the normal examination process to conclude?

Speed up Examination

For between $1,000 and $4,000 government fee – depending on the size of the business –  patent applicants can apply for prioritized examination – or “Track 1 Examination” in the parlance of the US Patent and Trademark Office. The goal of prioritized examination is to have the process completed within 12 months. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allows 10,000 Track 1 examinations per year.

For an Application approved in Another Country

If a patent application has been filed and approved in another country, a US patent application for the same invention can gain some benefit by taking advantage of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH).

Accelerated Examination based on Applicant’s Age or Health

If an inventor is over the age of 65, or is in ill health, the US Patent Office will accelerate examination.  No government fee is needed.

Another Option: Accelerated Examination

To avoid the Track I Examination fees, there is another option known as accelerated examination. Hopwever, this approach requires the filer’s attorney to do additional work and make added submissions to the Patent Office which most US patent practitioners view as onerous and risky, and which could ultimately be used against the applicant. Most US applicants avoid this approach because of the risks involved.

Talk To A Lawyer

Not sure the best way to fast-track a patent application? Get the clarity you need by speaking with an experienced intellectual property attorney who can evaluate your situation and work with you to achieve the best possible result.