As of September 26, 2011, you can now pay for quick review of your patent application. The PTO will commit to reviewing your patent application within one year. Great, you say. What’s the hitch? The answer: it’s expensive, as in $4,800.00 for a large entity and $2,800 for a small entity, on top of all other fees. The program only applies to applications filed after September 26. The number of claims is limited to four independent claims maximum and thirty claims total. The ‘Fast Track’ is a pilot program limited to the first 10,000 applications.
The PTO has been considering a multi-tiered review track for some time. This program was launched and then postponed due to lack of funds. The PTO apparently believes that it can now pay for the program.
— Robert Yarbrough, Esq.