by Dennis Crouch
Later this month the USPTO will transition to electronic patent grants or eGrants. This primarily a cost-savings mechanism, although it saves some paper too. Going forward, patentees will be able to obtain a paper ceremonial copy for a $25 fee.
This result does not have a direct major impact on patent practice, but as part of the change, the USPTO is issuing patents at a quicker pace following the issue fee. That issue date is important because it is the final day for filing a follow-on application claiming priority.
Best Practices: With the compressed issuance timeline, a growing number of patent practitioners are moving to a standard practice of only filing the issue fee once a firm decision has been made as to whether to file a continuation. And, if the decision is to file a continuation, delay the issue fee payment until the continuation is ready to go.
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