The patent application process may take longer than you can wait. Your competition may be pushing ahead while you wait long months for word on ratification. You may be able to take the fast lane to keep pace – if you meet the standards.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers a faster solution in the patent process with its Track One program. The program was initially designed to deliver answers within a year, but the average wait time from your petition to a final decision is averaging 6.4 months in 2020. The faster pace doesn’t come without costs, but meeting the marks set by the USPTO can get your application moving.
Moving things along
A speedier process, however, does not mean a simpler one. You will still have to meet the requirements for a typical patent, along with guidelines for the expedited process:
- Fees: You’ll have to pay the usual filing, search and examination fees that come with an application. Add on top that the prioritized examination cost that changes depending on the size of your entity.
- Eligibility: Applicants can use the program as long as they cooperate with the fine print. There are specific rules that you need to meet for the number of claims and nature of your filing. While first-timers and continuations can pass, reissues are not permitted.
- Rules: There are plenty of reasons your patent may not qualify for purely administrative purposes. Mistakes like erroneous information, missing translations and incorrect payments can earn you a denial. You will only have until the end of the day you file to correct any issues.
Time is often of the essence when you have ideas to bring to market. Getting protections for your intellectual property could have a faster track if you understand how to navigate the process.