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Pilot Program Gives COVID-19-Related Patent Applications Priority Review

  • Jun 17 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt changed the U.S. landscape. Millions have been diagnosed and the economy has been greatly impacted. What is needed are better ways to diagnose and treat those who have the coronavirus. That’s why the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is doing its part to hasten the process. 

On May 8, 2020, the USPTO implemented a pilot program in which the office will prioritize all patent applications that are related to either the diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19. Many patents have already been submitted for investigative drugs, emergency use authorizations, and more. 

Expediting the Patent Process

The goal of the pilot program is to speed up the patent process so that review and approval can be achieved more quickly than a typical patent application.  With timely responses from applicants, the USPTO strives to achieve a final decision within six months.

According to a statement by the Director of the USPTO, Andrei Iancu, “[a]ccelerating examination of COVID-19-related patent applications, without additional fees, will permit such innovators to bring important and possibly life-saving treatments to market more quickly.”

While the program will accept the first 500 prioritized examination requests, the USPTO remains open to the idea of extending the program if the workload allows and the program proves effective. 

Requirements to Apply for Pilot Program

A party may request a prioritized examination of its patent under the new program if each of the following requirements is met:

  1. You are filing a new utility or plant non-provisional application;
  2. You certify that at least one of the pending claims includes a product or process that is related to COVID-19 (and subject to FDA approval for use) with the coronavirus pandemic;
  3. Your application includes a maximum of four independent claims, has no multiple claims and includes no more than 30 total claims; and
  4. You pay all required fees (e.g. basic filing fee, search fee, and examination fee).

Through the program, the USPTO hopes to encourage diverse, innovators to engage in the patent process.

Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser Can Help Protect Your Inventions and Your Rights

If you or a loved one has an issue with product or procedure that you wish to have protected, or if you have an existing patent that you believe is being infringed upon, it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced patent attorney in order to determine your best options. 

At Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser, our qualified patent attorneys can help you to navigate the patent application process or can help to defend your patent and your rights regarding any infringement. To learn more about the patent prosecution process or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Patents