USPTO: small entity patent applicants have opportunity to move up in the queue

On November 27, 2009, the USPTO announced a plan to reduce its backlog of pending patent applications filed by small entities.  Under the new plan, a patent applicant who both (a) qualifies for small entity status and (b) holds multiple pending patent applications may ask that one of the applications be given “special status” – i.e., faster examination.  In exchange, the applicant must agree to abandon one of its other pending applications.

My colleagues Paul Legaard and Dan Scolnick have published a more detailed summary of the program.  For the full article at the Pepper Hamilton website, click here.  The USPTO’s notice about the program is available here.

UPDATE:  The USPTO recently announced that it is extending this program through June 30, 2010.

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