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Semiconductor patent filings can currently receive expedited review

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | Patent Law

Patent prosecution is a complex and often lengthy process that individuals and businesses usually cannot manage without professional support. Typically, there will be a long wait between when an attorney submits a patent request to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and when the USPTO grants that patent.

The USPTO receives a huge number of patent applications each year in various different areas ranging from agricultural science to technology. Currently, the USPTO has an expedited pet processing program in place for domestic companies engaging in semiconductor research.

The USPTO can prioritize certain applications

There are many reasons that patent processing takes such a long time. First of all, there is limited manpower available at the USPTO. Secondly, every application requires extensive review and research. The USPTO needs to verify that new patent requests do not infringe on any existing patents, for example.

Generally, the USPTO processes patent requests in the order they receive them. However, there are occasionally expedited patent programs that authorize priority processing for certain types of patents. Other recent examples of expedited patent programs have included cancer technology, such as new immunotherapy drugs.

Currently, the USPTO wants to give priority consideration to patents related to semiconductors. The United States largely depends on imports for these valuable computer components, creating supply chain bottlenecks and a host of other challenges for businesses in the information technology sector.

The expedited patent process officially began on December 1, 2023. Applicants can take advantage of this program through December 2, 2024. However, the USPTO can close the program once it accepts 1,000 grantable petitions. In other words, time is of the essence.

Those seeking a semiconductor-related patent will likely want to apply early in the program to ensure that the USPTO does not meet its theoretical quota for expedited patent applications before they submit their paperwork. Organizations that develop or improve technological devices, like semiconductors, need to protect any advances in technology or processing through patent prosecution.

Connecting with the team at Saile Ackerman LLC could help researchers, inventors and companies more effectively protect concepts and processes that could have a major impact on the domestic semiconductor market.