Failing to get a favorable decision from a patent examiner isn’t the end of the line, but escalating things to the next step can be challenging. Getting your application granted after denial by the examiner can take some extra work, but can be worth the additional cost.
The median cost of an administrative challenge is in the $5,000 range for patents in the computer or electrical fields. Facing a few rejections may be another day at the office for an entrepreneur, but the costs can build if you’re not thorough in your approach.
The process can be long and intricate, so understanding how it works is vital. You’ll need to start with a Notice of Appeal, followed shortly by a briefing of the issues you’re facing. This is where your patent attorney will detail your arguments for why your patent should be approved. A team of administration law judges will then determine whether to remove, modify, or confirm the rejection verdict.
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will take a look at your submissions before they render a decision. They will likely present you with one of three answers:
- Affirmed upholds the examiner’s position
- Affirmed-in-part reverses some but not all of the claims
- Reversed passes the buck back to the examiner
A reversal means that the examiner will have to support remaining claims of unpatentability by entering a new rejection, or allow the application.
Each step comes with costs, with windows to hit or extensions to pay for. There are plenty of opportunities for missteps, unnecessary expenses, and rejections. Make sure you’re ready to meet standards from the start so you can successfully navigate the process.