In recent years, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched several fast-track initiatives — including the electronic priority document exchange (PDX) program and the Global PPH and IP5 PPH pilot programs under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) — to minimize fees and help accelerate the patent-examination process. Effective July 2, 2020, a new pilot program has joined the mix: the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program.
The new pilot program is designed to reduce the average time between initial filing of an appeal to final resolution from 14 months to within six months.
Said Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, “The Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program serves as an extension of the Track One prioritized examination program, which has proven to be very popular with our nation’s innovators. For the first time in USPTO history, applicants will be able to speed up both patent examination and ex parte appeals, thus obtaining decisions on their most important inventions in about half the time of a typical application.”