The USPTO has been looking to implement an innovative system to remove a few logs from the dam that is backlogging the Patent Office. What has been proposed is a three track program that would allow applicants to choose how fast or slow they would like to push their ideas through the sludge that has become the patent process. If you would like to recap what the three track system has to offer, see Mark Malek’s post here. They have been proposing this system for some time now (I just found a memo I did to Mark Malek in June of 2010 on the subject), and now the wait is over. Of the three tracks, Track 1 (the prioritized track) is being immediately implemented by the USPTO.
Through much discussion, the USPTO has decided that for $4,000.00 (or for some, a kidney) you can be standing at the front of that hot night club that everyone wants to be seen in. The Club 57 I speak of is actually the patent examining office. This cold, hard cash will not be rolled up and, well I won’t go there, but it will be your ticket to a final disposition of your application within twelve months. A great turn around from the years we have seen so many that have written on this topic write of. The $4,000.00 is the apparent amount that will cover all costs to examine applications on this track. It would be nice to see an aggregate of these calculations.
Do beware though, patent applicants. The USPTO will smack your hand and hang you dry if you decide you are going to delay their cranked Orange Blossom Special. They will kick you off that train and keep your money (or kidney) if you ask for an extension to respond to an Office Action.
I think it is great that the USPTO has decided to be proactive in this growing problem and make attempts to resolve the boom of applications. I do have a concern though that they are implementing one Track of a plan that has been forever referred to as a “Three Track Program.” If it has three tracks, I would imagine that they are supposed to complement each other. Instead, we could see a slower turnaround in the normal application process because of the silver spoon applications. Nonetheless, I don’t have $4,000.00 (and nobody wants these kidneys) or an invention, so not to much of a worry to me yet. Cheers.