Patent, Trademark, And Intellectual Property Representation For Businesses And Corporations

The USPTO can currently expedite certain patent applications

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Intellectual Property

Pursuing patent protection is a very lengthy process. It often takes more than two years to obtain a patent, sometimes even longer than that. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sees thousands upon thousands of applications and must properly review each application. The research involved can be significant, as patents cannot infringe upon each other.

Typically, those hoping to patent innovative new products or processes are at the mercy of the USPTO and must wait many months to learn if their application was successful or not. Occasionally, federal programs and government priorities may lead to a focus on a particular kind of research. That can impact practices at the USPTO. For example, currently, the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act of 2022 has led to a limited-time expedited patent processing opportunity for those working in semiconductor research.

Federal goals include increased competitiveness

Semiconductors play a crucial role in modern computing devices, including mobile phones. Unfortunately, the United States currently imports a significant portion of the semiconductors used for domestic products. Current federal priorities include promoting semiconductor research to improve the supply chain, reduce manufacturing expenses and promote domestic semiconductor production.

An expedited patent process is part of that effort. Patent applications related to semiconductor production or research could be eligible for expedited review. The USPTO Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program is the USPTO’s contribution to the CHIPS Act. Certain applications that relate to semiconductor manufacturing will receive priority processing by the USPTO.

The window of opportunity for expedited processing began on December 1st, 2023 and runs through December 2nd, 2024. The USPTO may end the program ahead of time after receiving 1,000 patent applications that qualify for special consideration under the Pilot Program. Companies working in the computing and technology sector could benefit from this program, as it could help them rush patent approval and begin profiting off of a product or manufacturing process.

The vast majority of applicants can expect a lengthy wait when prosecuting a patent. However, the time and resources invested in the process can prove worthwhile if the applicant can protect an idea that can offer a competitive edge. Taking advantage of different USPTO programs can potentially benefit innovators in certain sectors.