USPTO Self-Report on Track I Prioritized Examination
On September 26, 2011, the U.S. Patent Office implemented a new system for obtaining prioritized examination of certain applications following passage of the America Invents Act. This “Track I ” Prioritized Examination permits applicants to have their patent applications examined to a final disposition within 12 months for a fee of $4800 ($2400 for small entities). Participation in the Track I program may be requested either at the time of filing (76 Fed. Reg. 59051) or, following the expansion of the program on December 19, 2011, with the filing of an RCE (76 Fed. Reg. 78566).
The USPTO's January 3, 2012 Commissioner's report indicated that 1,694 Track I petitions had been submitted to date with an average 40.8 day timeframe from receipt to decision on the petition. Of the 1,231 requests decided, 1,218 were granted (98.9%). As of the Commissioner's report, 648 Track I applications had already received their first office action, equating to an average 66.4 days from filing of the Track I request to issuance of first office action. Furthermore, 23 allowances had been mailed, with the fastest being mailed 37 days after the application was filed achieving an average time to allowance of 39.2 days from petition approval. The first Track I patent issued on January 10, 2012 with a total pendency of 102 days.
The following requirements must be fulfilled to participate in the Track I program for a newly filed application:
This prioritized examination system is important to applicants who have an urgent patent enforcement or licensing program, patent pool requirement or PPH strategy.