Our January 2010 issue included a report about the initiative implemented by the USPTO to reduce the backlog of patent applications by permitting small entity applicants to expressly abandon one application and file a petition seeking special status for a second application. This initiative is sometimes referred to as the “Bump and Dump” program. To be eligible for this program both applications must be unexamined, must have been filed earlier than October 1, 2009, and must either be owned by the same party or have at least one common inventor. Further, the abandoned application cannot be revived and fees associated with the abandoned application cannot be recovered. The USPTO recently announced that this program has been extended through June 30, 2010. Small entity applicants that have unexamined applications that they are no longer interested in pursuing should consider taking advantage of this rule to expedite examination of another application.
Additional details and requirements are available from the USPTO website via the following link.