On July 1, the USPTO announced plans for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to begin accepting petitions for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals. The Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program launched July 2, 2020 with a required petition fee of $400, and is currently set to run for one year.
The USPTO expects that the average ex parte appeal reviewed under the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program will be decided within six months from the date a petition is granted.
Petition grants for fast-track review of ex parte appeals will initially be limited to a maximum of 500 per fiscal year, or 125 per quarter, for the program’s duration. In order to keep appeals on schedule, oral hearings under the program will be expedited and, once scheduled, will not be rescheduled or relocated.
For additional information on the Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program, see the USPTO’s Federal Register Notice and the PTAB’s webpage on the USPTO website.