US confirms program to protect domestic semiconductor IP
Washington has unveiled its new Semiconductor Technology Pilot Program, which will speed up patent applications for semiconductor manufacturing innovations.
The Commerce Department’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) says the aim of the scheme is to fast track the examination of IP applications relating to 'processes and apparatuses for manufacturing semiconductor devices, will be advanced out of turn for examination (accorded special status) until a first action'.
The USPTO will begin accepting petitions to participate in the program today (Friday, December 1, 2023). The pilot program will be available until December 2, 2024, or until the USPTO accepts 1,000 grantable petitions.
“Fast tracking examination of patent applications related to semiconductor device manufacturing speeds bringing key innovations to market and strengthens our nation's supply chain,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “From innovations in phones to cars to other everyday devices, our goal with this program is to get more cutting-edge technologies into the hands of consumers faster while reducing our dependence on the foreign supply of semiconductor chips.”