If you have never requested examination of a U.S. patent application, you may want to reconsider. In the past, you could request expedited examination for very limited circumstances, all of which required the filing of a petition. The time to act on this petition could often be longer than waiting in line with everyone else.
Under the new Track 1 program, you pay $4,800 extra and in about a month you get your first office action. I have obtained a patent in a total of 3 months. That’s right. Seems like an exaggeration, but I do it all the time and it’s for real.
Some think paying $4,800 extra is too much. However, consider the fact that you usually get the case allowed after one meeting with an examiner (because you lose expedited status if you file an RCE or appeal). Going 2-3 rounds with an examiner can easily be $10,000 or more. In the end, the cost is actually less expensive and you get a patent in very short order.
One limitation is that you need to be willing to work with the examiner. If you want to fight for broad claims, this probably isn’t for you. But if you need a quick patent with decent claims in short order, give it a try.