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Deferred-Fee Provisional Patent Application Pilot Program To Encourage COVID-19 Related Inventions

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced, in the Federal Register on September 17, 2020, the deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program and collaboration database to promote the expedited exchange of information about inventions designed to combat COVID-19. A product or process disclosed in the provisional application must be subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for COVID-19 use.

Under this program, the USPTO will permit applicants to defer payment of the provisional application filing fee until the filing of a corresponding nonprovisional application. In turn, applicants must agree that the technical subject matter disclosed in their provisional application will be made available to the public via a searchable collaboration database maintained on the USPTO's website.

The USPTO instituted this program to encourage inventors to disseminate the technical information of the COVID-19 related invention quickly to promote follow-on innovation. The intent is to provide a cost-effective way for inventors to disclose their ideas to others quickly, without losing their rights.

The program will be in place for a period of 12 months, beginning on September 17, 2020, and maybe extended.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the program. Further information on the pilot program is available by accessing the following web link.