For inventors and innovators, registering a patent is one of the most important steps they can take to protect their creations from being stolen or profited on by others. Unfortunately, the patent process can take years – and on average, lasts about 25 months according the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Sometimes, inventors need their patent sooner, and thankfully, Hartman Global Intellectual Property Law’s team knows how to help. They are experts at navigating what the USPTO calls its Fast-Track Program, where applicants can pay a significantly higher fee and face an expedited examination process in order to cut the time until they receive their patent to within a year, and sometimes as soon as a handful of months.
“When you pay that surcharge, you’ll have your patent resolved within a year,” said Domenica Hartman, IP and Patent Attorney as well as co-founder of Hartman Global IP Law. “When you have a strong reason to do so, it’s an excellent tool. Large companies, universities, and organizations make use of it because they have the funds to do it and want to get their products out there on the market right away.”
The extra fee the USPTO requires for the fast-tracking process is high, so Hartman only recommends the process for larger organizations that can more easily bear the cost, or if smaller businesses have created something that is generating a lot of early interest.
“Fast-tracking can triple the USPTO’s filings fees, so it’s a decision you must take very seriously,” she said. “You fast-track when you’ve got technology that you want out immediately. We just filed a fast-track patent application for a company that makes medical bandages used in surgery. They had a new product that was tested and received overwhelming positive feedback from hospitals in the U.S. and abroad. The company wants to ensure their product is protected quickly both here and abroad.”
The official fast-tracking process is not the only way to speed some invention applications. Products related to bettering the environment, such as “green” technologies, are able to be expedited – moved to the fast-track with no fees or extra hurdles. They are also expediting products related to COVID-19, which could be medical supplies, cleaning or sanitization products, or any other invention related to the virus.
“It works for anything you can think of related to the pandemic, it’s a very broad swathe,” Hartman said. “They’ll look at your petition and say ‘yes, we’ll push this through because we need it now.’ They don’t charge you extra or make you jump through extra hoops, because they see the need for your product.”
Be it official fast-tracking or an expedited process, Hartman is equipped to handle the needs of her clients.
“We’re not dabbling with IP law on the side, this is what we do – we’re dedicated IP attorneys,” she said. “We are 100 percent confident in our team’s ability.”
To learn more about Hartman Global IP Law, visit them at hartmanglobal-ip.com.