Tuesday, February 8, 2011

USPTO Releases More Information on Three-Track Examination Initiative

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office released additional details on February 2, 2011, regarding their recently proposed “Three-Track” patent examination initiative. The PTO is seeking public comments for a 30 day period beginning with the proposals forthcoming publication in the Federal Register.

In its original proposal, published in June 2010 (75 Fed. Reg. 31,763), the Patent Office indicated that under the Three-Track proposal an applicant could (1) request expedited examination (Track I); (2) could request a delay of up to 30 months in the examination docketing of a non-continuing application (Track III); or (3) proceed under current practices (Track II). It was announced that different fees would apply to different tracks, but no fee schedule was announced.