Man explaining to micro entities

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced a new COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program being launched this month for small and micro-entities, intended to provide a ‘fast track’ option during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Under this new pilot program, the USPTO will grant requests for prioritized examination to patent applicants that qualify for small or micro entity status without payment of the typical fees associated with other prioritized examination. In addition, the USPTO believes it can reach final disposition of applications in this program within six months if applicants provide more timely responses to notices and actions from the USPTO, as opposed to the typical goal of prioritized exam to reach final disposition within twelve months. Up to 500 qualifying patent applications will be accepted for prioritized examination.


To qualify for the new program, the claims of an application must cover a product or process that is subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19.


The goal of this program is twofold: First, to accelerate the delivery of COVID-19 related innovations to the marketplace; and second, to reduce the barriers of cost associated with prioritized examination for small and micro entities.


For more information, please visit the USPTO’s new page dedicated to the program at or contact Dilworth IP at (203) 220-8496.


Dilworth IP 

Image Credit: University of the Fraser Valley (Flickr @ Creative Commons)

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