• U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Spending Cuts Postpone “Track One” Prioritized Examination
  • April 28, 2011 | Author: Mary K. Murray
  • Law Firm: Hamilton, Brook, Smith & Reynolds, P.C. - Concord Office
  • In response to recent federal budget cuts, Director David Kappos announced this morning several changes at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO.) Among the changes is indefinite postponement of the “Track One” prioritized examination program, which was scheduled to begin May 4, 2011. Under the program, qualifying participants would have received final disposition of a patent application within twelve (12) months of prioritized status being granted. The requirements and goals of the “Track One” program were described in an advisory posted on our firm’s website on April 14, 2011.

    Additional changes announced by Director Kappos include suspension of overtime for examiners, a hiring freeze, cuts in search funding for international applications using the USPTO as the search authority and postponement of the opening of satellite offices, including the proposed satellite office in Detroit, Michigan.

    It is believed that these recent changes may have a negative impact on the quality of examination of patent applications, examiner morale and patent application pendency at the USPTO.