by Matt Digan
Announced September 16, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has created a deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program to enable applicants and inventors to aid in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 while protecting their patent rights.
The USPTO recognizes its important charge of issuing high-quality patents to inventors and how that goes hand-in-hand with the dissemination of important free-flowing technical information among the world’s brightest minds. To that end, the USPTO’s new program will permit applicants to defer payment of the provisional application filing fee until the filing of a corresponding nonprovisional application.
Beginning September 17, 2020, the USPTO began accepting applications for its new pilot program. Applications are scheduled to be accepted for 12 months. Eligible applications for the program must disclose subject matter concerned with a product or process related to COVID-19. Additionally, any such product or process must require Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use against COVID-19.
Said approval does not have to obtained prior to submitting an application to the program; approval can be pending or can be sought at any time prior to marketing the subject matter for use against COVID-19.
For more information on the new program, see the USPTO’s full notice.
USPTO Announces COVID-19 Deferred-Fee Provisional Patent Application Pilot Program, USPTO.gov (Sept. 16, 2020), https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/uspto-announces-covid-19-deferred-fee-provisional-patent-application-pilot.
Department of Commerce; United States Patent and Trademark Office; Deferred-Fee Provisional Patent Application Pilot Program and Collaboration Database To Encourage Inventions Related To COVID-19, 85 FR 58038 (Sept. 17, 2020), https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/17/2020-20443/deferred-fee-provisional-patent-application-pilot-program-and-collaboration-database-to-encourage.