All Aboard for “Project Exchange”
“Project Exchange” is a program initiated by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) allowing applicants having more than one application currently pending at the USPTO to receive expedited review of one application in exchange for withdrawing an unexamined application. The program was initially limited to applicants claiming small entity status; however, the USPTO has more recently announced that this program will be available to all applicants.
The purpose of this program is to reduce patent backlog at the patent office, as well as give applicants more control over the priority in which their applications are examined. In exchange for abandoning an application that may be less important, an applicant can advance a more important application to the front of the examination queue. In theory, this program will also benefit applicants that do not qualify. Indeed, applicants should see their applications taken up for examination more quickly than would otherwise occur in the absence of this program even if they have only one pending application or do not have a pending application they are willing to abandon. The expanded Project Exchange will be limited to 15 applications per entity through December 31, 2010.
Please contact is if you would like to learn more about “Project Exchange.”