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Track I Patents - Unexpected Benefits

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
By Anton Hopen

We filed our first Track I accelerated patent application on April 5, 2012.  It is a fairly simple petition and a hefty government fee ($2,400 for small entities).  However, I was able to meet with the patent examiner at the USPTO on that case on June 28, 2012 and received a formal allowance last week.  Therefore, prosecution was wrapped up in a bit over three (3) months.  This was for a software case that likely would have taken years otherwise.  A few additional benefits were discovered in this process. 

No Publication Fee at Issue:No publication fee is due because it was paid upon initial filing.  A portion of the allowance transmittal is reproduced below:

Track I patent filings may not have to pay a $300 publication fee. 

PPH Grant: Because this case has already been allowed I can now file directly into other jurisdictions like the EPO, Japan, China, etc... under the Paris Convention and get accelerated status (and theoretically a faster allowance) in those countries.  That should vastly reduce the cost of foreign prosecution making the $2,400 USPTO government fee a rounding-error.

 

Examiner Motivation: Because this was a Track I case the patent examiner wanted to get it off his docket as soon as possible.  I was able to take a quick flight up to the USPTO, cover the invention with a PowerPoint presentation and even brought a portable printer to make a few technical amendments (see photo below):
 
USPTO conference room photo - patent examiner interview 

Client Feedback:  Like me, clients are impatient and technology moves quickly.  Our client will have the patent in hand much earlier that otherwise.  Closing out patent prosecution quickly and efficiently has nothing but benefits.  Track I filings have only been available since September 26, 2011 but so far the USPTO has kept their end of the bargin and I recommend it on virtually every filing.





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