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July 2020

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Initiates Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program

On July 2, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") initiated the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB"). Currently, the average appeal pendency for a normal ex parte appeal is about 15 months. Decisions in ex parte appeals accorded fast-track status under the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program are expected within six months from the date that the appeal entered into the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program.

To enter into the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program, appellants must file a petition with a $400 petition fee. The petition may be filed once the PTAB issues a notice that the appeal has been docketed. The number of petitions granted under the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program is limited to 125 per quarter and a total of 500 per year. The Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program is offered on a temporary basis from July 2, 2020 to July 2, 2021, after which the USPTO may either extend or discontinue the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program.

If you are interested in expediting an appeal under the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program, please contact one of the attorneys listed below.

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