The new prioritized examination system known as "Track One" will begin on May 4, 2011. For a $2,400 additional fee ($4,800 for large corporations), the USPTO will prioritize the handling of your patent application with a goal of reaching a final disposition within twelve months. A prioritized application is "accorded special status and placed on the examiner's special docket throughout its entire course of prosecution before the examiner until a final disposition is reached." Here, of course, "final disposition" means that the application is either allowed, abandoned, or is subject to a "final rejection" (which can then be appealed).
- Application must be filed on or after May 4, 2011 using the the USPTO's electronic filing system;
- Application must be "complete;"
- The request for prioritized application must be filed with the application itself;
- Application may contain no more than four independent and thirty total claims; and
- The $2,400 fee must be paid in addition to the normal filing fees.
Due to resource constraints, the PTO is limiting the track one initiative to 10,000 applications for the May-Sept 2011 period (the remainder of FY 2011).