USPTO Extends Missing Parts Pilot Program Again.

Astronomy and Law

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will further extend its Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program for another 12 months. The program is beneficial for inventors because it allows patent applicants to request a twelve-month time period to pay the search fee, the examination fee, any excess claim fees, and the surcharge (for the late submission of the search fee and the examination fee) in a nonprovisional application.

According to the USPTO: “This would serve as a vehicle for inventors–at their option–to effectively have up to 24 months to make decisions regarding the significant investment of time and money required to take a non-provisional patent application forward.”

The USPTO first launched the pilot in 2010 and has previously extended it. As highlighted by the USPTO, it benefits both the agency and inventors “by permitting additional time to determine if patent protection should be sought–at a relatively low cost–and by…

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