The USPTO offers the option to submit an application under an accelerated examination procedure to get a patentability decision within 12 months or less. We can search, write, file, and prosecute accelerated examination patent applications for your utility and design patentable inventions. To qualify for the accelerated examination, according to the USPTO, there are 9 requirements:
- Submit a Petition to Make Special Under Accelerated Examination Program, and a petition fee;
- File a non-provisional utility or design patent application;
- File the application as well as all follow-on submissions electronically online via EFS-Web;
- File a complete application complying with 37 CFR 1.51 including at least a specification, claims, drawings, the inventors oath or declaration, and the appropriate application filing fees according to USPTO entity status;
- File 3 or fewer independent claims, no more than 20 claims total, and no multiple dependent claims;
- File an application for a single invention or agree to elect without traverse a single invention for examination;
- Agree to an examiner interview with the patent examiner to discuss any outstanding issues arising in the examination process;
- Conduct a pre-examination search and provide a report with the application; and
- Provide an accelerated examination support document with the application.
We can prepare your invention’s patent application to meet all of these requirements. Writing this kind of patent application is intended to result in a notice of allowance and request to pay the issue fee without further patent prosecution. We offer a single fixed fee quote for a complete and proper accelerated examination utility patent application starting at $6,400 plus USPTO application filing fees. Additionally, we offer design patent applications starting at $4,200 plus USPTO application filing fees. Our fees cover all administrative amendments, but there may be additional fees for otherwise amending patent application documents during patent prosecution. Issue fees are not included. A signed client engagement letter is required. Contact us to get started.
Important Tip: If you are filing a patent application for the first time, you may qualify for accelerated examination under the USPTO’s First-Time Filer Expedited Examination Program.
Accelerated Examination Patent Applications Under the USPTO Program
Writing and filing a non-provisional patent application under the USPTO’s accelerated examination program has some important limitations. There are also some additional patent application actions and document requirements on the part of the patent applicant. A patent application filed under the accelerated examination program is limited to twenty (20) total claims with not more than three (3) independent claims. Importantly, it must be for a single invention, or the applicant must agree to elect without traverse a single invention for examination.
In addition to the usual requirements of a complete and proper patent application, the patent applications filed under the accelerated examination process must be filed online via EFS-Web. Further, the petition for accelerated examination also requires two additional documents and an interview with the examiner. The two additional documents include a pre-examination search report and an accelerated examination support document (AESD). The interview with the examiner is to discuss any outstanding issues arising in the examination process.
Prior Art Search and Patentability Study
We always begin with a prior art search and patentability study for the claimed invention. If we determine your application is patentable over the prior art, we can write and file an accelerated examination patent application to seek patent protection for your invention. If your invention is not patentable, we will provide a patentability report explaining why it is not patentable and refund all paid fees over $1280. Our prior art search meets or exceeds the requirements under the accelerated examination requirement to conduct a pre-examination search and provide an AESD.
The prior art found during the search is used to determine patentability of the claimed invention. The process of searching and the analysis conducted during the patentability evaluation are used to create both of the additional documents needed for filing a patent application under the USPTO accelerated examination program. The pre-examination search document is generated from our prior art patent search, and the AESD is generated from our patentability study report.
Writing the Patent Application, Search Report, and AESD
When writing a patent application we are limited to 20 total claims that must contain fewer than 3 independent claims and have no multiple dependent claims. Typically, most patent applications we write do not exceed these limits. However, if we cannot write the application within these parameters, we may not be able to utilize this program. Patent applications filed under USPTO accelerated examination program require all of the usual parts of a non-provisional patent application and two additional documents for the pre-examination search and AESD. Check out our article on how to write a patent application.
The usual written parts of a patent application include the specification, claims, abstract, drawings. We do all the writing and drawing required for a complete and proper utility or design patent application. The pre-examination search document is a breakdown of the classified search and open text searching details from the prior art search. The prior art found during the prior art search is listed on the required Information Disclosure Statement (IDS). The AESD is a break down of all the prior art and an explanation of how the new invention is different.
Filing an Accelerated Examination Patent Application
When filing an accelerated examination patent application for a new invention, the complete application must be filed online using the USPTO’s EFS-Web system. We submit all forms and documents in USPTO preferred formatting online, and we will email you our filing acknowledgment the same day we submit the patent application. As listed above, we will submit a complete application for a single invention with the petition for accelerated examination, filing fees, pre-examination search document, AESD, and conduct the examiner interview to best represent your invention .
Prosecution of a USPTO Accelerated Examination Patent Application
After the application is filed, first the Technology Center (TC) Quality Assurance Specialists (TQASs) will decide if the petition is granted. If granted, the application will be forward to an examination unit, assigned to a patent examiner, and examination will begin. The examiner may wish to talk with us regarding the application. In that case, we will schedule the examiner interview to discuss the issue(s). Examiner interviews are frequently helpful in overcoming objections and rejections. Nothing is guaranteed with patents, however, if this interview resolves the issues in the application, the next anticipated step is receiving a notice of allowance.
The examiner may issue an office action if the interview is not conducted or if amendments, changes, or corrections are needed. The USPTO says that the application will unlikely be placed in a condition for allowance if an examiner interview is needed but not conducted. We will of course conduct an examiner interview if it is necessary for allowance. After the application is in condition for allowance, we will be asked to pay the issue fee within one month of the mailing date of the notification.
6 USPTO Accelerated Examination Tips for Patent Applications
The USPTO offers six tips for patent applications submitted under the accelerated examination program (these same tips are also available on the USPTO website). We focus on compliance with all of these tips when we search, write, file, and prosecute utility and design patent applications. Hiring a USPTO registered patent attorney or patent agent is highly recommended when filing a utility or design patent application under the accelerated examination program. The six UPSTO accelerated examination tips:
- Search the claimed invention and features that may be claimed. The search should be commensurate in scope with the claims.
- Search should typically include U.S. patents publications, foreign patents and publications, and non-patent literature.
- Provide the text-search logic. A mere listing of terms will not suffice.
- Show support in the specification and/or drawings for each limitation of each claim. Be specific. This must also be done for any application whose benefit is claimed under patent law.
- Clearly and specifically identify the limitations in each claim that are disclosed in each reference. A chart is a clear, convenient format.
- Clearly point out by specific claim language how each claim is patentable over each reference.
While we search and write patent applications intending to offer the patent examiner a patent application wherein all the claims are allowable, there are no guarantees in patent application prosecution. We will make any needed administrative corrections to a patent application we searched, wrote, and filed. However, if there are amendments, changes, or corrections needed that are not administrative, there may be additional fees for writing and filing responses during patent prosecution.