Last year, we blogged about the new "fast track" (Track One Prioritized Examination) system for patent applications. The idea is simple: Pay more upfront, do less work, and get your patent faster.
By many accounts, the new fast track was definitely faster than older expedited methods (an average of 184 days from filing to allowance), and was cheaper too -- research published on the Patently-O blog said that despite the higher upfront cost, fast-tracked patents would actually save money in the long run.
Who's hopped on to the fast-track train since then? No surprise that it's a tech company -- namely, Google.