From the Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office chief David Kappos is proposing a new three-track system for patent applications that would allow applicants to pay an undisclosed amount on top of the standard $1,090 filing fee to jump to the front of the line for expedited reviews.Interestingly, nothing's been published on the USPTO web site. To read more, click here (link)
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Officials haven't decided how much expedited processing would cost. The middle track would be similar to the system used now, which includes a $755 fee when a patent is issued and periodic fees to keep the patent in effect.
The slowest track would allow companies and inventors to pay a smaller fee and essentially park their applications for up to 30 months before the patent review begins.
UPDATE: The USPTO has now issued a formal press release:
“We recognize that the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ examination timing may not work for all applicants,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “By allowing applicants greater control over the timing of examination, the USPTO will be able to deploy its resources to better meet the needs of innovators. We look forward to input from the public as we shape this proposal.”
A public meeting will be held on July 20 at 1:30 p.m. at the USPTO’s Madison building, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia. Those interested in attending the meeting must register by 5:00 p.m. (EDT) July 16.
Written comments must be submitted by August 20, 2010.
Additional details on the program will be available in the June 4, 2010 edition of the Federal Register.