April 06, 2010

On Friday, April 2nd, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it is seeking public comment on its proposal that would effectively provide a 12 month extension period to the current 12 month provisional patent application period. This announcement (available HERE, with a Federal Register excerpt available HERE) states that the proposal "would benefit applicants by giving them additional time to determine if patent protection should be sought – enabling them to defer additional fees and enabling applicants to focus efforts on commercialization during this expanded provisional period," noting further that "[t]he proposal would benefit the USPTO and the public by adding publications to the body of prior art, and by removing from the USPTO’s workload those nonprovisional applications for which the applicants have decided not to pursue examination." As noted in the announcement, applicants would be allowed to file a nonprovisional application after the initial 12 month period provisional period, paying the filing fee and submitting an oath or declaration. This application would then be published, and after an additional 12 month period, applicants would pay a surcharge (tied to missing parts practice) and the remaining fees should they wish to proceed with their applications. Comments on this proposal must be received by the USPTO on or before June 1, 2010.

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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