By Andrew M. Nevill, Woodard Emhardt Henry Reeves & Wagner LLP
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is accepting requests for prioritized examination of up to 500 qualifying patent applications that include at least one or more claims to a product or process related to COVID-19 under the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program. If an application is selected for this pilot program, the USPTO will not require payment of the fee for prioritized examination set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(c) or the accompanying processing fee set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(i)(1).
The COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program is only available for applicants who qualify for either small or micro entity status. The application must contain one or more claims related to COVID-19, and the claimed product or process must be subject to an applicable Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for COVID-19 use. Additionally, the application must be either an original, non-continuing application or may only make a benefit claim to one prior non-provisional application or one prior international application. Any application that claims the benefit of the filing date of two or more previously filed, non-provisional United States or international applications that designate the United States under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, or 365(c) is not eligible for the participation in the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program.
The USPTO provides a Pilot Program Form PTO/SB/450 that must be completed and filed for those interested in applying for the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program. Additional information can be found at the USPTO website here.
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