Accelerating Innovation: Design Patent Expedited Examination with Rocket Docket – Cohen IP

Accelerating Innovation: Design Patent Expedited Examination with Rocket Docket - Cohen IP

Accelerating Innovation: Design Patent Expedited Examination with Rocket Docket Accelerating Innovation: Design Patent Expedited Examination with Rocket Docket In the fast-paced world of innovation, every moment counts. For inventors and businesses seeking to protect their unique designs, time is of the essence. What can one do, though, if the patent process threatens to drag on for months? Enter Rocket Docket, a program that aims to expedite examination for design patent applications. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recognizes that sometimes there is a necessity to protect a design patent sooner rather than later. Swift patent protection safeguards the unique design elements of products, preventing competitors from copying or imitating them and preserving the integrity of the inventor’s intellectual property. Under conventional timelines, it typically takes more than a year from the date of filing for a design patent to be issued. One way to accelerate a design patent examination is to file a Rocket Docket request. What is Rocket Docket? The USPTO established Rocket Docket to expedite the initial review of design patent applications and reduce wait times. While the program involves additional fees, it offers a cost-effective and quicker path to securing design patent protection. Rocket Docket fees vary depending on entity size. A request for expedited examination of a design patent application costs $320 for a micro entity, $640 for a small entity, and $1,600 for a large entity. When a Rocket Docket request is granted by the USPTO, all processing of the application is fast-tracked, including appeals. Unlike Track One requests for utility patent applications, there is no requirement to submit the expedited examination request with the initial filing of a design patent application. Therefore, applicants have the option to submit a Rocket Docket request after filing for a design patent. Timeframes for a Rocket Docket Request The pendency for a Design First Office Action is around 16.5 months as of December 2023. Pendency refers to the average number of months an applicant should expect to wait between the application filing date and the date they hear from the USPTO regarding a First Office Action. With Rocket Docket, the pendency for an initial review is slashed to about 2 to 4 months. Design patent applicants can expect to receive a First Office Action around 2.9 months from the date the Rocket Docket request is granted, according to USPTO data on average wait times in 2022. If there are no Office Actions, the design patent is likely to be issued within five to six months of the date an expedited examination request is filed. An expedited design patent application can be an effective way to cut down on the waiting time for an initial examination. One thing to keep in mind is that the above timeframes are averages. Additionally, the USPTO may take additional time to grant the Rocket Docket request even when it is included with the initial filing. Requirements for Filing a Rocket Docket Request Many of the requirements for requesting an expedited examination are the same as filing a regular design patent application. A Rocket Docket request must include the following: Form PTO/SB/27 for expedited examination Clear and complete design drawings complying with USPTO requirements A statement confirming that a preexamination search was carried out, including classifications identifying the field of search. The visual patent search should be conducted by a reputable design patent search service. An information disclosure statement Payment of fees for filing a design patent application and requesting expedited examination It is important to ensure all the requirements are met when filing a Rocket Docket request. If any element is missing, such as the basic design patent application filing fee, the USPTO will not grant expedited examination. Are You Seeking to Fast-track Your Design Patent? If you would like to secure design patent protection as soon as possible, the Cohen IP Law Group can help you file a request for expedited examination of your application. We are available to answer your questions about Rocket Docket requests and how they can be beneficial for speeding up the processing of design patent applications. We have more than 20 years of experience navigating copyright, trademark, and patent law on behalf of individuals and businesses. To learn more, call Cohen IP Law Group at 310-288-4500 or get in touch via our online contact form.