Obtaining a Patent at Lightning Speed, in as Little as Three Months
How to Fast Track Your Patent Application with a One-Two Punch Combination!
By Procopio Partner Stephen C. Beuerle
The average time it takes to obtain a patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is about 25 months. However, for many startups, obtaining a patent quickly is imperative for attracting needed investment. Waiting for over two years to obtain a patent is not an option.
The USPTO has a number of programs for accelerating the time it takes to obtain a patent. Procopio has successfully obtained patents for clients in as little as three months with a one-two punch combination of the Track One Prioritized Examination program (“Track One”) and the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program (“Full First Action”).
Track One only requires the applicant to pay an additional fee to receive a final rejection or notice of allowance within one year from the grant of prioritized status. The fee depends on the status of the applicant, but for applicants with micro entity status, the fee is currently only $1,050.
Full First Action promotes personal interviews between the applicant and examiner before a first Office Action is issued. After a request is filed, the examiner conducts a prior art search and issues a Pre-Interview Communication, setting a one-month time period to request or decline an interview. If agreement is not reached at the interview, the applicant will receive an Office Action and interview summary.
We took this one-two punch approach for a startup client. Within about one month of filing, we received a Pre-Interview Communication that outlined the prior art references the examiner believed substantiated rejections based on lack of novelty/obviousness. In less than two weeks from the Pre-Interview Communication, we conducted an interview with the Examiner, reaching an agreement on allowable claim subject matter. Less than two months from the interview date, and approximately three months from the filing date, the patent issued (No. 10,646,051).
The one-two punch of Track One and First Full Action won’t work for every patent application. In the hands of a knowledgeable patent attorney, however, the approach can prove highly effective in the right circumstances.
Steve Beuerle is a Partner in Procopio’s Intellectual Property practice. He has twenty five years of experience assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs in their patent needs. Steve’s experience is rare among patent attorneys in that he has experience bringing his own products from concept to manufacture and to retail, and is the inventor on twenty patents. He also obtained hundreds of patents in a wide variety of mechanical, electrical, computer and biotechnology areas including toys, medical devices and implants, biotechnology instruments, consumer electronics, exercise equipment, fuel cells, photovoltaic systems, recycling separators, electric and hybrid-electric drive systems, wireless communications, telematics, biometrics, video and audio streaming, musical instruments, children’s products, sequencing equipment, detection systems and manufacturing systems and methods.