Washington - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the deadline extension of its Project Exchange program to December 31, 2011. Under Project Exchange, any applicant with more than one application filed prior to October 1, 2009, that is currently pending at the USPTO can receive expedited review of one application in exchange for the withdrawal of an unexamined application.
"Project Exchange is an important program in our effort to give applicants more control over when their applications are examined," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "By providing incentives for applicants to withdraw unexamined applications that may no longer be important to them, the program has the potential to help reduce the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO. We hope more applicants will take advantage of this opportunity to significantly reduce the examination time for their most important applications with the extended deadline."
The program will continue on a temporary basis, and applicants who wish to participate must submit the necessary materials before the extended deadline of December 31, 2011. While new patent applications are normally taken up for examination in the order they are filed, applications under the Project Exchange pilot will be advanced in the examination queue. Program participants are limited to 15 applications.
Additional details on the program extension are available in today's Federal Register (http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-29360.pdf) and on the USPTO website at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/PatentStimulusPlan.jsp.