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New U.S. patent applications ordinarily are taken up for examination in the order of their effective filing dates. Applications deemed special will be advanced out of turn for examination and the Office will treat same as special throughout the entire prosecution. The Manual of Patent Examiners Procedure (MPEP) §708.02 sets forth the requirements to file and perfect a petition for special application status.

Examples of factors considered for exceptions to make special include the following: special manufacturing needs, infringement issues, an applicant’s health and age, environmental consequences, energy resource development, recombinant dna, superconductivity, HIV/aids and cancer research, anti-terrorism, and biotechnology inventions filed by small entities.

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