The U.S. Patent office is considering conducting a “Track III” pilot program, which would allow “micro entity” applicants to delay the payment of search and examination fees under certain conditions. This would allow these small entities with limited patent filings to obtain an early filing date while deferring most filing fees and negotiation-related costs for up to 30 months from their earliest claimed filing date. There would also be an option to obtain an AI-generated pre-examination search report before paying the relevant search and examination fees.
We focus so much of our time pursuing expedited “Track I” patent filings, it’s interesting to think about situations where it’s actually desirable to slow the patent process down. This definitely could be a good option where additional time is needed to raise funds or explore the commercial viability of the technology at issue.
It’s good to see that the patent office has independent inventors in mind despite their recent (in some cases dramatic) proposed fee increases for 2025, which we believe will have an oversized detrimental impact on startups and independent inventors.