IP Alerts

IP Alert
IP Alert: USPTO Launches Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program Today

July 2, 2020

The USPTO has announced that beginning today the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will begin accepting petitions for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals under the newly launched Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program. An appellant who files an ex parte appeal and subsequently receives notice that the appeal has been docketed may now file a petition, accompanied by a $400 fee, to expedite the review of the appeal.

The standard fee to file an ex parte appeal is $800, and the fee to submit the briefs to the PTAB is $2,240 for so-called large entities (the fees are halved for small entities). A few years ago the PTAB suffered a large backlog, and it was not unusual for two to three years to pass before the PTAB rendered its decision. In more recent times the USPTO has calculated that the average pendency is now down to 14 months. The USPTO estimates that petitioners using the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program will garner an appeals decision in about six months. The pilot program will be available until 500 appeals have been granted fast-track status or until July 2, 2021, whichever happens first.

For more information on this program, please see the USPTO’s Federal Register Notice and the PTAB's webpage on the USPTO website. If you have questions on the program, please contact Fitch Even partner Steven G. Parmelee, author of this alert, or any member of Fitch Even’s PTAB Practice team.

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