Yesterday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced the “Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot” to provide a temporary basis for an applicant to have an ex parte appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board accorded special status (advanced out of turn). To take advantage of the pilot program, the applicant would need to withdraw an appeal in another application in which an ex parte appeal was also pending before the PTAB.

According to the USPTO, the pilot program will allow applicants with multiple ex parte appeals currently pending “to have greater control over the priority with which their appeals are decided and reduce the backlog of appeals pending before the Board.”

The pilot program starts on Friday, June 19. It will continue until 2,000 appeals have been accorded special status or until June 20, 2016, whichever occurs earlier.

Please click here to read the Federal Register notice announcing the program.