Q: How long does it typically take the patent office to review a patent?
A: The answer varies depending on the type of technology, but generally between 22 and 30 months. However, there is a great deal of variation, even within each area, based on whether there are enough knowledgeable examiners on staff and how "hot" the technology is, among many other variables.
The US Patent and Trademark Office keeps detailed statistics at their Data Visualization Center: https://www.uspto.gov/dashboards/patents/main.dashxml.
The time between filing an application and concluding the application process is known as "traditional total pendency," and is graphed here: https://www.uspto.gov/corda/dashboards/patents/kpis/kpiTCTotalPendency1.kpixml.
A: "Special" status is granted in a limited number of situations. Patent prosecution may take under a year. Special status is granted to inventors who are over 65 years of age. There is also a pilot program in which expedited status is granted for a payment of $4,000 upon filing.
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