Last week the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) announced that it is indefinitely postponing a procedure for prioritized examination of patent applications that was scheduled to take effect on May 4, 2011.
The procedure, which we reported in a prior Client Alert, would have allowed applicants to have an application examined out of turn by paying an additional $4,000 fee. In return, the goal of the program was to have a final disposition within 12 months. The procedure for prioritized examination was canceled in response to the 2011 fiscal year budget that was enacted on April 15, 2011, and limited the USPTO’s spending authority.
We will continue to monitor the status of the prioritized examination procedure and provide subsequent updates.