The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has established a webpage with information and guidance regarding use of its new COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program. The new page indicates the number of applications that will be accepted under the new program (500) and provides a description of the program, a link to the application form, and instructions on how to file a qualifying application.

As set forth on the USPTO’s new webpage, qualifying applications are based on the following:

  • Applications must contain one or more claims to a product or process related to COVID-19.
  • Such claimed product or process must be subject to an applicable Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for COVID-19 use.
  • The request must include a certification that the applicant qualifies for either small or micro entity status and an executed Application Data Sheet (ADS) meeting the requirements of 37 CFR 1.53(f)(3)(i).
  • Applicants must file a grantable request under this initiative using the USPTO patent electronic filing system (EFS-Web or Patent Center) if filing the request in a utility application.
  • Applicants should use Pilot Program Form PTO/SB/450 to request participation in the pilot.
  • The pilot is open to:
    • non-continuing, original, nonprovisional utility or plant patent applications filed with an acceptable request to participate
    • original, nonprovisional utility or plant applications making a benefit claim under 35 U.S.C. 120, 121, or 365(c) to one prior nonprovisional application or one prior international application designating the United States filed with an acceptable request to participate
    • utility or plant applications, including the national stage of a prior international application, in which an acceptable request to participate has been filed with or after a request for continued examination (RCE), if no prior RCE was granted prioritized examination status.
  • The fees set forth in 37 CFR 1.17(c) and (i)(1) are not required to participate in the program.

For more information, including how to file an application under the new pilot program and questions and answers regarding the program, visit the USPTO COVID-19 Prioritzed Examination Pilot Program page.