How Can I Speed Up the Patent Process?
It is often important to speed up the patenting process as much as reasonably possible. Having an issued patent is important for attracting investors, driving up the value of a business, and keeping competitors at bay.
There are several viable options for speeding up the patent process. The easiest and cheapest way to accelerate the process is by petitioning for the Patent Office to accelerate the process if at least one inventor is 65 years old or older. In my experience, this option is hardly ever used by other patent attorneys, but I use it whenever I can.
If none of the inventors are 65 or older, then the next best option is to file the patent application along with a Request for Prioritized Examination. The government fee associated with this request is $1,000 for micro entity applicants, $2,000 for small entity applicants, and $4,000 for large entity applicants. This process guarantees that you will have received a second rejection (if necessary) from the patent examiner within one year from the date that the application was filed.
If you are filing a design patent application, then there is also a Request for Expedited Examination available, and I have been able to get design patents issued in as little as 5 months using this procedure. Along with the petition based on age, I don’t think this is a procedure that is used by other patent attorneys very often.
Lastly, there are other options for accelerating the examination process but they are not recommended due to cost, uncertainty as to whether the petition will be granted, and also because some require a “Pre-Examination Search Document,” which should be avoided. The Request for Prioritized Examination is a much better option than this last option, and the USPTO statistics reflect that shift in filings as well.
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