The U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) https://www.uspto.gov recently announced a new COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program. Under the new program, USPTO will grant requests to patent applicants that qualify for small or micro entity status without payment of the typical fees.
According to Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, “Independent inventors and small businesses often make the difference when it comes to cutting-edge innovation. They are also in the most need for assistance as we fight this pandemic.”
To qualify for the program, the claims for an application must cover a product or process that is subject to FDA approval for use in the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19. For more information, to https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/COVID-19%20Prioritized%20Examination%20Pilot%20Program%2007May2020.pdf.
In addition, the USPTO has unveiled a new web-based intellectual property marketplace platform called Patents 4 Partnerships https://developer.uspto.gov/marketplace to provide the public with a user-friendly searchable repository of patents and published patent applications related to the COVID-19 pandemic and also indicate if they are available for licensing.
This will help bring new products and technologies for the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of COVID-19 to the marketplace. In the future, the platform may be expanded to include other technologies.
This platform enables users to search and sort information in a variety of easy-to-use ways, including by keywords, inventor’s name, assignee, and issue date. The contents in the platform were drawn from a variety of public database sources, including USPTO, the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer, the AUTM Innovation Marketplace, universities, and federal agencies including NIH, DOE, NASA, FDA, CDC, DOD, and the VA.