Now that patent reform is a reality, and with it renewed agency funding, USPTO has put fast tracking back in play. IPBlog discussed what this means to filers back in April. To participate in the “Track I” program, applicants have to fulfill the following requirements:
• File a new original utility or plant nonprovisional application under 35 U.S.C. § 111(a) on or after September 26, 2011 (the procedure does not apply to international, design, reissue, or provisional applications, or reexamination proceedings, but can be used for continuing applications); • File an application that is complete under 37 C.F.R. § 1.51(b), including the oath or declaration, and payment of the filing, search, and examination fees, any applicable excess claims fee, and any applicable application size fee at the time of filing; • File the application via the Office's electronic filing system (EFS-Web); • The application cannot contain more than four independent claims and thirty total claims or any multiple dependent claims; • Request prioritized examination (preferably by using Form PTO/SB/424); and • Pay the required fees for requesting prioritized examination at the time of filing (i.e., the prioritized examination fee set forth in 37 C.F.R. § 1.17(c), the processing fee set forth in 37 C.F.R. § 1.17(i), and the publication fee set forth in 37 C.F.R. § 1.18(d)).