According to the Semiconductor Industry Association[1], more than 1 trillion semiconductors were sold globally in 2022 !

The increasing demand in semiconductor devices led the US government to provide incentives to facilitate research, investments, and manufacturing of semiconductors by enacting the “CHIPS and Science Act.”[2]

The USPTO has now also provided a dedicated program known as the “Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program” [3] to fast track the examination of patent applications directed at improving semiconductor manufacturing.

To qualify for this program the Applicant must:

  1. File a non‑provisional application or an international application (designating the US)
  2. Application must contain at least one claim covering a process or an apparatus for manufacturing a semiconductor device
  3. File together with a petition.

If successful, the application will be given “special status“ until a first office action is issued.

Compared with other schemes for accelerating patent examination at the USPTO, such as the “Track one” program that requires payment of a significant fee; the Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program is free.  A limited number of applications are accepted under this program each year. In 2024 up to 1000 applications will be considered. For companies operating in this space this is a good time to consider this scheme !

 

[1] https://www.semiconductors.org/2023-state-of-the-u-s-semiconductor-industry/

[2] https://www.congress.gov/117/plaws/publ167/PLAW-117publ167.pdf

[3] https://www.uspto.gov/patents/initiatives/patent-application-initiatives/semiconductor-technology-pilot-program

 

At Scintilla, we help innovative companies get a grip on their intellectual property. Our unique commercial approach combines registration of patents and trade marks with strategic input so that IP can be a springboard for business growth. If you would like to discuss your IP needs, do contact us or book a free initial consultation!