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As the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to ravage the United States, ensuring that frontline healthcare workers are adequately protected is of utmost importance. Among various types of proper protective equipment (PPE), none has become more synonymous with safety and protection than the N95 Respirator. Given the superior effectiveness of the N95 respirator over other prophylactic measures, demand is understandably high. Basic principles of economics suggest that increased demand for respirators will similarly increase the price paid by consumers. However, the dire need for PPE is motivating companies to forego increased profits to ensure that frontline personnel are adequately protected.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently launched a new “Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program” on July 2, 2020. The Program allows for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals in US patent application prosecutions. The Program serves as an extension of the “Track One” prioritized examination program and is intended to provide applicants with another opportunity to expedite US patent prosecution.
Prior USPTO CARES Act extensions waived certain fees and deadlines up until July 1, 2020. With the July 1, 2020 date looming and the need for relief remaining at a high level, today (June 29, 2020) the USPTO further extended the time for small and micro entities to pay certain patent-related fees that would otherwise have been due on or after March 27, 2020.