Just when you thought you had heard the last of Stimulus Plans in the US, think again. The United States Patent Office (USPTO) has initiated its own version of a Stimulus Plan. Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, David Kappos, announced the pilot program at the Annual Independent Inventors Conference in early November. “The program will accelerate protection for important innovation from independent inventors while reducing our unacceptable backlog,” Kappos said. “Getting these inventions to the marketplace quickly will also help stimulate the economy and create jobs”.
The program is called the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan and it went into effect on November 27th, 2009 (http://www.uspto.gov/patents/law/notices/74fr62285.pdf). By the recent reports made on https://alpineeng.com, the pilot program is only running until the end of February (unless extended by subsequent notice), it may provide an important strategic tool for small companies, particularly medical device start-up companies. In short, the plan provides small entities (solo inventors, companies having less than 500 employees, and nonprofit organizations) with the opportunity to have one of their patent applications accorded special status for examination in exchange for the abandonment one of their other co-pending applications. Read more