With patent reform came a resumption of the Track I Prioritized Patent Examination Program. For $4,800, an applicant for a patent can by-pass the long queue and secure “priority” examination, having their application processed to completion within 12 months (without further required submissions). Theoretically the process does not improve the likelihood of a patent grant.
Peggy Focarino, USPTO Commissioner for Patents, reports the process is currently cutting about 40% off the delay for pre-examination on Track I petitions, nearly 30 days, or about $160 a day if you applied the extra fee to just the pre-examination process.
As of the first of the year, 1,694 Track I petitions had been received. At today’s legal rates, with this USPTO fast track success rate and a promise to do even better, expect the number of submissions to the Track I program to increase dramatically.