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Long patent application examination times may be a thing of the past for patent applicants who are willing to pay an additional filing fee. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has aimed to reduce patent examination times under the Track I Prioritized Examination Program, but how fast is it? For one recent applicant, the USPTO reached a final disposition on the merits and allowed the applicant’s three patent applications, each of which of was filed under the Track I program, in less than about three months. This was significantly accelerated, considering that the USPTO’s normal delay for patent applications in the same technology area is more than two-and-a-half years. Thus, the USPTO met its objective under the Track I program to expeditiously consider and make a final determination on the applicant’s patent applications. Under normal track examination, the applicant would still be awaiting an examination.

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