How Can I Get My Patent Application Approved Faster?

How Can I Get My Patent Application Approved Faster? by Pat Werschulz

{Read in 4:30 minutes} A question I often get is, “How long does it take to get a patent?”

There may be business reasons to get your patent faster, such as to attract by showing investors you have a patentable idea. Or perhaps you just want to have patent protection before you introduce your product to the market. There may also be personal reasons; you need to move onto the next stage in your life and want to get this finished.

So, how can you get your patent faster?

As of right now, the average tendency (and again, that’s an average) is about 25.6 months at the end of 2016. (You can check out current stats here). So the question is, “How can I get my patent faster than 2-2 ½ years?” Of course, it always depends upon the topic of your patent. Some sections of the Patent Office, such as electronics or biotech, are just busier than others and have more of a backlog.

With all things being equal, let’s say you want to get your patent in a year. There are a couple of mechanisms that you can use to move your application to the front of the line. Some of them cost money, and some don’t.

Option 1: Track One

The first way to get to the front of the line, just like in amusement parks, is to pay for it through the Track One System of the Patent Office. By paying extra money, and it is a lot of money, you go to the front of the line. If you’re a small business, it’s $2,070 to go to the front of the line, in addition to all of the costs, such as the filing fee and paying your attorney. The micro-entity charge is one-half that, so it’s an extra $1,000, plus $35 handling fee, plus $400 for the filing and examination fee. Ultimately, it’s a lot of money to get to the front of the line, but it may be worth it to you.

The disadvantage of working through the system this way is, of course, your costs increase, but also, all of your costs of getting that patent is going to be within about 12 months. That’s something to think about when developing an intellectual property, budget and strategy, especially if spreading your costs over several years makes more sense to your business.

Option 2: Special Applications

Another way to do this is, if you’re 65 and older, is to apply for free to get your patent to the front of the line. An affidavit must be signed stating that you are over 65. Unfortunately, if you’re not anywhere near that age, this option is not available to you.

The other opportunity, which is not something that anybody wants to ask for, is for your doctor to sign an affidavit that you’re terminally ill. (Thank God I’ve never had to file that type of petition for a client.)

Option 3: Accelerated Examination

There’s also an equivalent system for designs—it’s not called Track One—but you can ask for an accelerated examination and pay extra money. Generally everything about a design patent is slightly cheaper, but you can also ask to move to the front of the line by paying extra money.

Those are the few ways that you can get through the Patent Office more quickly. They don’t guarantee that you’ll have everything finished within a year, but, generally speaking, you will hear from the Patent Office within 3 to 4 months. Respond quickly. You only get 3 months to stay on Track One or on the special application track.

So, there is a way to get your patent quicker if that works for your business strategy. If you want to proceed with one of these options and need assistance, please contact me today to get started.

Patricia Werschulz

Patricia P. Werschulz

Werschulz Patent Law, LLC
23 North Avenue East
Cranford, NJ 07016
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