The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has expanded on a temporary basis (the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan) under which an applicant may have an application accorded special status for examination if the applicant expressly abandons another co-pending un-examined application.
The procedure is applicable to applicants having multiple applications currently pending before
the USPTO and who are willing to expressly abandon one application to have another application
accorded special status for examination. This initiative seeks to reduce the USPTO backlog by
allowing those that are no longer important, or marginally important, to be sacrificed in exchange
of advancing another application of theirs to the front of the examination queue.
The Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan thus allows applicants having multiple applications currently pending before the USPTO to have greater control over the priority with which their applications are examined while also stimulating a reduction of the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO.
The program is available until December 31, 2010, or the date that 10,000 applications have been
accorded special status for examination under the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus
Plan, whichever occurs earlier. These changes allow more applicants to take advantage of the program.