A special patent is not a distinction of worth. Rather, it’s a signal that certain circumstances may exist for the investors, allowing the patent to gain examination before others that are pending.
It takes the average patent application a little over 15 months before seeing its first action from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Then another 7.5 months before a decision is rendered. That’s a lot of time to wait, and jumping the line could cost a good deal of money. But concerns for the health and age of the inventor could move things along for those in need.
Special considerations might be in order when an inventor is over 65 years old or is facing health issues that could make the application process challenging.
There are no fees involved with these methods, but you will need to show your plea is legitimate. Showing one inventor’s age is over 65 years may just require a signed statement from the elder member or from a registered practitioner.
A health concern could be another matter. You will need a doctor’s word or medical documentation to show that your illness could keep you from helping the patent through. You could qualify if you won’t be able to answer questions from your examiner, provide additional information or participate in any appeals because of your health.
You’ll also want to remember that most documentation you give to the USPTO could be available to the public. If you’d rather keep your health matters private, you’ll have to follow a few extra steps to make sure your information remains secure.
Getting out ahead of the line in special circumstances can help you and your team achieve goals that could otherwise be slowed. Knowing when you qualify for a special application can be essential for those with unique paths to navigate.