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Fast Track for Semiconductor Patent Applications

The US Patent and Trademark Office recently launched the Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program to support the CHIPS Act of 2022 by accelerating the examination of patent applications related to semiconductor device production. The Semiconductor Fast Track aims to foster innovation in semiconductor manufacturing, provide intellectual property protection, and incentivize investments in the sector. 


Qualifying applications will be granted special status, expediting examination until the issuance of a first Office action. Applicants must file a timely petition to make special, with no associated fee for qualifying applications. The program is open to specific types of original utility nonprovisional applications related to semiconductor manufacturing. Eligible applications must cover processes or apparatuses for manufacturing semiconductor devices, meeting certain technical criteria. 

The fast track petition must be filed with the application or within 30 days of the filing date. Certifications affirm the positive impact on semiconductor manufacturing and limit the number of applications per inventor. The USPTO will accept petitions until December 2, 2024, or after granting special status to 1,000 applications, whichever occurs earlier. Contact Martensen IP for more details related to the program requirements.