The USPTO published a final rule on April 4, 2011 to implement prioritized examination upon an applicant’s request and payment of a $4,000 request fee and other filing fees. The USPTO’s goal is to provide a final disposition within twelve months of an application’s receiving prioritized status. Here are some of the key provisions:
- Request must be filed together with a complete utility or plant nonprovisional application on or after May 4, 2011
- Application must contain or be amended to contain no more than four independent claims, no more than 30 total claims, and no multiple dependent claims.
- A maximum of 10,000 applications will be given prioritization during the remainder of fiscal year 2011.
- Extensions of time are available but will result in prioritization status being terminated.
- Currently no small entity discount on prioritization fee, but this is provided for in patent reform legislation passed by Senate (S. 23) and pending in the House (H.R. 1249).
Posted: April 6, 2011