The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office continues to provide tools and resources to inventors who have developed technology relating to COVID-19. On May 8th, the USPTO announced a prioritized examination pilot program for small and micro entities that file COVID-19 related patent applications. The pilot program allows qualifying applications to be taken out of turn for examination, without requiring the significant Track One fees. See my prior blog post regarding information about this program.
Today, the USPTO announced it has established a webpage with important information regarding the pilot program, including the new Certification and Request for COVID-19 Prioritized Examination form, PTO/SB/450.
The pilot program will initially run until the Office has accepted 500 requests. After 500 requests have been accepted, the USPTO may extend the pilot program (with or without modifications) or terminate it, depending on the workload and resources needed to administer the program, feedback from the public, and the effectiveness of the program.
The USPTO webpage also includes guidance for filing the request to participate in the pilot program, as well as answers to common questions. This pilot program offers an excellent opportunity for small and micro entities to take advantage of accelerated examination, while exempting those inventors from the prioritized exam fees.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or are interested in learning more about this new pilot program.
Karrie Weaver practices intellectual property, trademark, patent, and trade secret law.