This website illustrates how Civil Engineers may make greater use of the Global Patent System to Promote Progress in their Field.
The American Founders included Patent Rights in the United States Constitution to Promote Progress.
Accelerated Examination
U.S. Patenting
     The USPTO provides several mechanisms for Civil Engineering Patent Applicants to advance their patent applications to the front of the examination line.  Advancing an application based on the age of an inventor provides perhaps the most straightforward method to accelerate an application.  If just one inventor of at least one claim of a patent application is 65 years of age or older, that inventor need only execute a declaration declaring his age and file it with the USPTO, along with a petition to make special based on the  age of the inventor.  The USPTO requires no fee for filing this declaration and petition.  The USPTO nearly always grants these petitions, and examination of the patent application usually follows within a few months of the petition grant, potentially saving the Applicant two or more years of waiting in the examination queue.  Applicants may also petition to make their patent applications special based on the health of an inventor.    

     In recent years, the USPTO has also offered programs to accelerate patent examination based on paying an acceleration fee and meeting some additional requirements.  The Accelerated Examination program advances an Applicant’s application for a little less than $1500, but also requires the Applicant to prepare relatively extensive support documents designed to ease the examination burden for the Examiner.  The Prioritized Patent Examination program costs the Applicant more at almost $5000, but does not require the Applicant to prepare the extensive support documents required for the Accelerated Examination program.    

The Applicant may also accelerate examination in the U.S. based on providing the USPTO with a positive examination result from a counterpart international patent application (i.e., an application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty—see worldwide patenting) or a counterpart patent application filed in another nation, by using the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH).  Under the PPH initiative, the U.S. has signed a series of bilateral and multilateral treaties with other nations to give faith and credit to foreign patent examination efforts.  The PPH attempts, with a good amount of success, to streamline the global patent system by reducing redundant examination around the world.  For example, if the Japan Patent Office allows claims in an Applicant’s counterpart Japanese patent application of its U.S. application, the Applicant may file the Japan Patent Office examination results with a petition to accelerate examination in the U.S.  The USPTO Examiner may then use the Japanese Examiner's work to evaluate the U.S. patent application, saving time and Examiner resources.  The reverse is also true:  the Applicant may file USPTO examination results with the Japan Patent Office for use by the Japanese Examiner.


Tappan Zee Bridge in New York
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