Posts Tagged: "COVID-19 Pilot Program"

A Conversation with Andrei Iancu on the Role of Innovation and the USPTO in Combating COVID-19

I recently had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, via WebEx. The focus of our conversation was the COVID-19 pandemic: USPTO efforts to work with stakeholders, the role of intellectual property in finding cures and treatments, and general thoughts relating to what the Office is observing. Our conversation also veered into Bayh-Dole and the the letter just sent by three-dozen state Attorneys General asking the federal government to use march-in rights against Remdesivir.

Examining the USPTO’s Patents 4 Partnerships Platform

Intellectual property (IP) is a “bridge to collaboration” between companies, and not just a “weapon of competitive warfare.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) launched an IP licensing marketplace, “Patents 4 Partnerships” (P4P), on May 4 that is a platform furthering this ideology. The P4P platform is initially being limited to technologies related to COVID-19 to address the ongoing pandemic. However, USPTO Director Andrei Iancu seems prepared to expand the platform to include other technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) innovations and cancer treatments, based on interest and engagement during this pilot phase.

USPTO COVID-19 Pilot Program Will Benefit Small Companies and Individual Inventors

On May 7, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a Notice in the Federal Register regarding the implementation of a new pilot program for COVID-19 related applications (COVID-19 Pilot Program). Under the COVID-19 Pilot Program, the USPTO would grant prioritized examination, similar to the existing Track One Prioritized Examination program, to applications claiming a product or process related to COVID-19, which “must be subject to an applicable FDA approval for COVID-19 use”. Under the program, requests will be granted to qualifying small or micro entity applicants without payment of the typical prioritized examination fees.