Attention Startups! An issued patent is a valuable tool that can be leveraged to increase your eye appeal to investors. If you’ve read our Top 10 you know that it can take 3-4 years or more to finally receive an issued patent from the Patent Office for your key piece of technology. But there’s at least one strategy for getting a patent issued quickly! Here’s one strategy that PatentDirection recommends you consider:
Step 1: Take Advantage of the Prioritize Patent Examination Program when filing (Nicknamed “Track One”).
Track One will cost you extra (for a small entity, it is currently $1,000) but you will receive a first Office action in approximately 2.1 months! In comparison, if you file without track one, it takes on average about a year and a half to received your first Office action. Under Track One, the Patent Office aims to issue a second, final, Office action within 12 months of filing the patent application. That is incredibly fast, and if you use the second part of our strategy, you could get your first patent within the 12 month period.
Step 2: File your patent application with long narrow claims with the goal of receiving a first Office action allowance. File this patent using Track One.
Using Track One, file your patent application with long, narrow, independent claims. This will increase your chances of getting an allowance on the first Office action or in the subsequent final Office action. Assuming you get an allowance on the first or second Office actions, you will have received an issued patent within a year of filing the patent application. Compared to the 3+ years it takes on average to receive a patent, you’ve done well.
Step 3: File a continuation application off of the first patent application and fight for broad protective claims.
This last part is vital for preserving your rights! You must file a continuation application off of your first patent application before the first application issues! Again, this part is vital! By filing a continuation application, you can now prosecute the continuation with an eye towards getting broad claims issued for your invention.
At the end of this process, the goal is to have one quickly issued patent with narrow claims which you can hand to investors and one, pending, application that is going after broad valuable claims. The process described will cost you more money than filing one patent application, but you could quickly have an issued patent to show a potential inventor while still striving for broad patent protection
Information about the average pendency of a patent application filed under Track One can be found here.