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Focus Area: Coronavirus/COVID-19

COVID-19 Prioritized (Accelerated) Examination Pilot Program

Continuing its efforts to accelerate the commercialization and available of technologies addressing COVID-19, the United States Patent Office (USPTO) has announced a new COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program. 

The average pendency of a US patent application is three (3) years from filing to grant. Oftentimes, it can take eighteen (18) months or more to receive a first action on a patent application from the USPTO. Prioritized Examination allows patent applicants to essentially advance their patent application out of turn to quickly obtain a final disposition – allowance or final rejection – within twelve (12) months of patent application filing. Under normal circumstances, prioritized examination can be requested by patent applicants with the payment of a sizable fee. Under the new COVID-19 pilot program, the USPTO will grant qualified requests for prioritized examination without payment of certain fees associated with this request. To qualify, the applicant must be a small entity or micro entity, the claims of the application must cover a product or process related to COVID-19, and such product or process must be subject to an applicable FDA approval for COVID-19 use.

The pilot program will accept requests for prioritized examination until such time as the USPTO has accepted a total of 500 requests, but the USPTO may further extend it or terminate it depending on workload and resources needed, feedback, effectiveness, etc.

A copy of the Notice with details regarding the pilot program can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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