First-Time Filer Expedited Examination Pilot Program

CI2 Initiative First Time Filer Expedited Examination Program Logo

The First-Time Filer Expedited Examination Pilot Program, implemented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and its Council for Inclusive Innovation (CI2) is designed to increase accessibility to the patent system for inventors who are new to the patent application process, including those in historically underserved geographic and economic areas.

After submitting a patent application, inventors must typically wait for an examiner to review the application and return the examiner’s written notice of findings, such as a rejection or restriction. The written notice of findings is called an Office action. This program expedites the first Office action, which expands opportunity in innovation. By lowering time-based barriers for inventors who might otherwise be unable to participate in the patent system, this initiative will enable them to bring their innovations to impact more rapidly.     

You may apply for the pilot program by filing a petition to make special for a qualifying patent application as detailed below. No petition fee under 37 CFR 1.17(h) is required when applying for this program. 

This pilot program began on March 9, 2023 and was originally scheduled to end on March 11, 2024. In view of the continued interest in and success of the pilot program, the USPTO is extending it. The extended pilot program will run from March 11, 2024, until either March 11, 2025, or the date the USPTO grants a total of 1,000 petitions since the start of the pilot program, whichever occurs first.

This program aligns with and supports Executive Order 13985, dated January 20, 2021, and advances the efforts of the USPTO and CI2 to create more equity and diversity in innovation. 

Unsure if this program is right for you?

Read our frequently asked questions


How to file a petition


Contact Us

For questions about Patent Center, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at 866-217-9197 or via email to

For questions about the First-Time Filer Expedited Examination Pilot Program, please email or contact the Office of Patent Legal Administration at 571-272-7704. 

To request someone from the USPTO to deliver a presentation on this topic, please submit a Speaker Request Form.

For questions about the status of a particular petition, please contact the Office of Petitions at 571-272-3282.