The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has introduced a pilot program that would prioritize the examination of patent applications for products or processes that are subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19.
The pilot project starts on July 13, 2020 and would allow applicants to request prioritized examination for their applications resulting in completed examination within 12 months.
In order to qualify for the pilot project applicants must certify that (1) they qualify for either small or micro entity status at the time of the request, and (2) that at least one claim in the application covers a product or process related to COVID-19.
Although, the pilot project will initially be limited to 500 participants, it may be extended, modified or terminated depending upon the available resources, patent examiner workload, feedback and efficacy. This project may be a great opportunity for inventors and small businesses to jump start the protection and commercialization of their inventions relating to COVID-19. Accelerating examination of COVID-19-related patent applications, without the need to pay additional government fees, will permit innovators to bring important and possibly life-saving treatments to market more quickly.