Changes To Implement the Prioritized Examination Track (Track I) of the Enhanced Examination Timing Control Procedures
On April 4, 2011, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) published a final rule that revises the rules of practice in patent cases to implement a procedure under which applicants may request prioritized examination at the time of filing of an application upon payment of appropriate fees and compliance with certain requirements (Track I final rule). The prioritized examination procedure is the first track (Track I) of a 3-Track examination process designed to provide applicants with greater control over when their nonprovisional utility and plant applications are examined and to promote greater efficiency in the patent examination process. The Track I final rule states that the effective date is May 4, 2011, and that a request for prioritized examination may be submitted with any original utility or plant application filed on or after May 4, 2011. The Office is hereby notifying the public that the Track I final rule effective date and applicability date have been delayed until further notice.