When managing a patent portfolio, it is important to understand and control the speed at which patent applications are examined and prosecuted. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and several other international patent offices have procedures that are designed to enable applicants to accelerate examination.
1. Track One Examination (Prioritized Examination)
In order to take advantage of PPH, the applicant must file a petition, which indicates that at least one claim has been indicated as patentable or allowable in a corresponding case, the corresponding case at a minimum has to have at least the same filing date (other requirements may apply), claims must match the claims as deemed allowable and several other formalistic requirements.
Additionally, there are a limited number of countries or regions that are currently participating in PPH. In order to gain the most from the procedure, a filing strategy can be devised that takes into consideration the speed of examination in particular countries. For example, there are procedures to have an application examined fast in Europe and Canada. However, it is important to consider the formal requirements and foreign filing license requirements when structuring an accelerated strategy using PPH.