The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) vide a notification dated May 8, 2020 announced the launch of new COVID-19 Priority Test Pilot Program.
Under this new pilot program, USPTO will issue priority test requests to qualified patent applicants for small or micro entity status without having to pay the prescribed fees associated with other prioritized examination. In addition, the USPTO will endeavor to reach final disposition of applications in this program within six months if applicants respond promptly to communications from the USPTO.
Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of the Intellectual Property Trade Department and USPTO Director, said “independent inventors and small businesses are often the ones who make a difference when it comes to advanced innovation and the development of our economy”. They also need the most help when we are fighting this pandemic. Accelerating examination of patent applications related to COVID-19, at no additional cost, will allow these innovators to deliver important and potentially life-saving treatments to the market more quickly.
To be eligible for the new program, application claims must include a product or process that complies with the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in Prevention and / or treatment of COVID-19.