Inventors and business owners have been waiting and waiting for their patents to be processed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and it looks like relief may be on the way. According an article in the Wall Street Journal, a new plan was proposed by David Kappos, Chief of the USPTO, which allows filers to access expedited patent processing. The expedited services will be part of a three tier system that includes slow, normal and fast tracks, allowing the applicant to assess the level of urgency. The fastest processing would require the filer to pay an undetermined additional fee, on top of the standard filing fee of $1,090.
There is little doubt that it would benefit filers to have their patents processed more quickly. In 2009, it took 34.6 months on average for patent applications to be reviewed. While people wait for their patents, it can slow down or make it more challenging for them to produce, market, distribute or sell their products. The hope is that the extra fee will pay for faster processing, moving applicants through the line more quickly, thus clearing the way for everyone to get their patents faster, and hopefully allowing businesses to continue to innovate and stimulate the economy. It should also help filers avoid unnecessary legal fees when attempting to get their applications approved quickly.
For those who haven’t yet applied for their patents, Rocket Lawyer offers a Free Provisional Patent Application, which can help filers complete the necessary paperwork. Although Rocket Lawyer can’t assure that the USPTO will process applications quickly, we can help make it easier to get in line faster. To get a lawyer’s help with a patent application or patent processing, try the free Rocket Lawyer Find a Lawyer service.