Expedited United States Patent Application Processing

August 9, 2006 Advisory

Wiggin and Dana patent attorneys and our clients have endured long delays between the filing of an application for a United States Patent and grant of that patent. Indeed, it is not uncommon for several years to lapse before an application receives an initial examination. Beyond frustration with the delay, the enforceable period of a granted patent, typically 20 years from the date of filing, is impacted by examination delays. On June 26, 2006, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a Notice in the Federal Register of an alternative procedure for patent examination that will result in a patentability determination, either allowance or final rejection, within 12 months from the date the application is filed. This expedited examination procedure will be available for most, but not all, patent applications filed with the USPTO on or after August 25, 2006.