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Thursday Sep 03, 2015

New Patents Petitions Timeline

Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee

People have asked us for more information on the patents petition process, and based on that input, I’m pleased to announce that the USPTO has developed a new Patents Petitions Timeline. This new timeline gives you easy-to-use information in a single page on our website about petitions filed with the Office. Petitions (for example, to revive an application, for correction of inventorship, or to file a Track One request) can be submitted during each stage of the patent prosecution process, and the timeline provides applicants with information on each specific petition and deciding office, as well as information on both the historical grant rates and the pendency of decided petitions.

By supplying as much detailed information as possible at every stage of the patent prosecution process, our customers will be able to make more informed decisions on when and how to file a petition and who to contact with questions. Users can also click on each petition type to link directly to specific sections of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) or other pages of the USPTO website.  For example, if an applicant seeks to secure small entity status, the Patents Petitions Timeline contains a specific link for this type of filing to educate the applicant on the requirements contained in the MPEP for such a petition. Additionally, the applicant can see from the timeline that a small entity petition is pending on average for 89 days with a 100 percent grant rate.

The Patents Petition Timeline supports the USPTO’s Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative, which strives to enhance the quality of our patent examination process while providing excellent customer service. The timeline also comes on the heels of another outreach project related to petitions—namely status updates on petitions data posted on our Patents Dashboard.  And it’s another step towards increasing the transparency of the USPTO and making our data open and accessible to the public. We hope our users will find the Patents Petitions Timeline useful and informative, and we look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions, which you may send to Patents Petitions.

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