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USPTO announces COVID fast-track appeals pilot program

April 14, 2021

Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will soon accept petitions for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals for COVID-related inventions. There is no cost for appeals related to COVID-19 in this pilot program, which starts on April 15, 2021.A COVID-related appeal for eligibility into the pilot program must relate to a product or process that is subject to an applicable U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for COVID-19 use.

Petition grants for fast-track review of COVID-related ex parte appeals will be limited to a maximum of 500, and the USPTO has a goal to issue a decision for these appeals within six months of entry into the pilot program. In order to keep appeals on schedule, oral hearings under the program will be expedited and, once scheduled, will not be rescheduled or relocated.

For additional information on the pilot program, visit the COVID fast-track appeals pilot program page on the USPTO website.