COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program ExtendedApril 5, 2022

The USPTO recently announced on March 25, 2022 that the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program has been extended for a third time. Requests for prioritized examination filed in qualifying patent applications will now be accepted until midnight on June 30, 2022.

The pilot program began accepting requests on July 13, 2020 and was initially limited to only the first 500 qualifying patent applications. The limit was subsequently removed and extended to include all qualifying patent applications received by December 31, 2021, followed by a second extension to March 31, 2022. The latest notice states that the USPTO will evaluate whether to terminate or further extend the program during this extension period.

As before, one or more claims of the application must cover a product or process related to COVID-19 to qualify, and the product or process must be subject to an applicable FDA approval for COVID-19 use. The pilot program is also only for applicants that qualify for either small entity or micro entity status. As of March 22, 2022, requests have been filed in a total of 926 patent applications, 604 of which have been granted prioritized examination status.

Brian D. Keppler, Ph.D. is a registered Patent Agent in the MVS Biotechnology & Chemical Practice Group. To learn more, visit our MVS website, or contact Brian directly via email.

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