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Expedited Examination for COVID-19 Related Patent Applications

January 26, 2022

By: Christine M. Wise

The USPTO has extended, until March 31, 2022, the COVID-19 prioritized examination pilot program that was launched in May 2020.

Applicants seeking to patent COVID-19 related inventions may want to consider filing their applications under the USPTO’s COVID-19 prioritized examination pilot program. The purpose of this pilot program is to expedite examination for certain patent applications related to COVID-19, with the aim to provide final disposition (grant or final rejection) within one year from acceptance into the program. In addition to expediting examination, the USPTO will waive the prioritized examination fee. Expediting examination of a U.S. application may be useful to expedite examination in other countries, for example, under the Patent Prosecution Highway and other expedited examination programs.

Qualifying patent applications must contain one or more claims to a product or process related to COVID-19. The claimed product or process must be subject to an applicable Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for COVID-19 use. This pilot program is only available to patent applications that qualify for small entity or micro entity status.

If you have an invention or a patent application that you think may be able to take advantage of the COVID-19 prioritized examination pilot program, please contact us.

See the USPTO’s COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program webpage for more information about the program.