How to speed up patent applications

How can you speed up your utility patent application?

The road to getting a US utility patent is often a long and expensive journey. There are ways to speed up patent applications, but some options are easier and cheaper than others. If cost is a major factor, first determine whether your utility application is eligible for an inexpensive option. If time is important, consider the more costly options.

What are inexpensive ways to streamline your utility patent application?

Here are inexpensive options to streamline a US utility patent application:

Note that inventor age will bump up your application to the head of the line. The inventor should send to the patent firm a copy of a birth certificate, driver’s license, passport.

PPH, on the other hand, does not advance a utility application out of turn. While your application may still have average wait time before receiving a first Office Action, a granted PPH request can potentially shorten the examination process afterwards.

What are more costly ways to speed up your patent application?

If the above quick fixes are not available for your utility application, you can speed up a utility patent application by using the following strategies which involve more fees or effort:

  • Track One Prioritized Examination (high government fees)
  • Accelerated Examination (high attorney’s fees)
  • CSP (if co-pending in Japan or S. Korea)
  • First file PCT application, and then file US national stage application

Which options will shorten the wait time for the initial review?

Inventor age, Track One, Accelerated Examination and CSP will shorten the wait time for the first Office Action. Other options do not jump ahead in the queue, but may reduce the application timeframe and costs after the first Office Action.

What is Track One Prioritized Examination?

The Track One option requires low attorney effort, but high USPTO fees. Since the Track One prioritized examination request must be filed concurrently with the initial filing of the application, you may need to file a continuation if you’re considering prioritized examination after having already filed a non-provisional application.  Here are the pros and cons of the Track One program:

Pros of Prioritized Examination

  • No patentability search required (aka pre-examination search report)
  • First Office Action within a couple of months of grant of request
  • Final disposition (i.e., allowance or final rejection) reached within one year of grant of request

Cons & Limits of Prioritized Examination

What is Accelerated Examination?

Accelerated Examination requires a low government fee, but significantly more legal work upfront. Grounds for filing a petition for accelerated examination may include:

  • enhancing the quality of the environment;
  • contributing to the development or conservation of energy resources; or
  • countering terrorism.

Pros of Accelerated Examination

  • May be filed after initial filing of application
  • Low USPTO fees

Cons & Limits of Accelerated Examination

  • no more than 3 independent claims and 20 total claims
  • requires pre-examination search documents
  • requires accelerated examination support document that must include an identification of all limitations in the claims that are disclosed in each prior art reference (can lead to admissions against interest in subsequent litigation due to the applicant previously admitting that certain claim limitations are found in particular prior art references)

For US applicants who cross-file in Japan or S. Korea

Applicants having a US nonprovisional patent application and counterpart application in either Japan (JPO) or South Korea (KIPO) may file a petition for the Collaborative Search Pilot (CSP) program. CSP will accelerate the examination of both the US and counterpart Asian application since each patent office will take the respective application out of turn. While “cutting in line” will shorten the time to the first Office Action, using CSP will likely result in more prior art being cited against your US and JPO/KIPO applications.

How to shorten the patent process wait time

Track One, Accelerated Examination and CSP will shorten the wait time for the first Office Action. A PPH request, if granted, will not shorten the pendency for the first Office Action. However, a granted PPH request might lead to fewer Office Actions overall and a potentially quicker allowance if the Examiner agrees with the earlier favorable decision on the claims.

How to speed up patent process with PCT application

If you filed a PCT application with claims similar to those in your US application, you may be able to benefit from an earlier search report in your PCT application. The international search report in a PCT application is typically issued within 16 months of the priority date or 9 months of the filing date if there is no priority claim. Therefore, the PCT search may often arrive sooner than a first Office Action in a counterpart US nonprovisional application. You can leverage any favorable claim decisions in the PCT search report by filing a PPH request in your US application.

How to use PCT search results to speed up US patent application

Even if your PCT search report does not indicate allowable claims, you can use this to your advantage. The search report contains valuable prior art information that your patent attorney can study to amend the claims in your US patent application. After analyzing the PCT search report, we can draft and file a Preliminary Amendment to revise the US claims to be more allowable over the prior art.

The Preliminary Amendment can be filed with or after the initial filing of the US national stage application. If the US national stage application was filed before the PCT search report was issued, you might hopefully have time to file a Preliminary Amendment in the US application before the USPTO issues the first Office Action.

How to speed up design patent application

You can request the Rocket Docket for a design patent application. This request to expedite can be filed with or after the initial filing of a US design patent applciation.

Need to speed up your patent application?

Reach out to US patent attorney Vic Lin by email or call (949) 223-9623 to see how we might help you get your utility patent granted sooner.

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Frenda Williams
Frenda Williams
I have had the pleasure of working with Vic and his team at Innovation Capital Law Group on Trademark creation and contracts. As a solo and non-tech founder, the assistance, guidance and recommendations from Vic and his team have been INVALUABLE. And, with the knowledge that I have a Solid, well versed and caring legal team I can turn to, I have the confidence I need to navigate the intricacies of the tech industry as a solo founder. With that being said, If you’re a startup and you’re looking for a legal team that speaks your language, knows the industry and makes you feel like family…. Innovation Capital Law Group is a Perfect fit for you, your company and your team. Five out of Five Stars… don’t let their brilliance blind you 😁
Shiwei Liu
Shiwei Liu
Excellent service and quick response. Lots of informative documents on its website.
Chang Chien Michael
Chang Chien Michael
I have worked with iCap for more than 7 years. I am very glad with his professional knowledge that 7 utility patents were granted by USPTO. Vic and his team are very efficient and knowledgeable. Every time he can transcribe my design idea perfectly in two weeks and file it with no rejection from USPTO. The other service including the granted patent following up is always in time to remind me to take actions. That is why I still stick on iCap as my first priority when I want to file a US patent.
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Mats Johansson
We have been happy client for 10+ years. Awesome Patent Law Firm!
Hanson Chang
Hanson Chang
Glad to write a review for Innovation Capital Law Group. We previously worked with a big law firm (2200 employees) on our patents, and decided to shift over to Innovation Capital. It was a great decision, this team got our patents done faster, more effectively, at a lower cost, and with broader claims. Win all around
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Genevieve Springer
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InPlay Inc
InPlay Inc
Vic and his team have been providing us with the best patent application experiences we could ever have in our entire career life! Their professionalism and technical knowledge have really saved us a lot of communication effort and time on the applications. Definitely highly recommend if anyone is looking for help with IP protection for their business.
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Meg Crowley
After working with Vic and his team at Innovation Capital Law Group, our organization is confident our trademarks were solid and protected. Thank you team.
Andy Dong
Andy Dong
I have been using Innovation Capital Law Group for a few years and continue to use them. They have provided an excellent services on our legal issues including intellectual properties and patents . They are very responsive, easy to work with and very competent . I highly recommend them.

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