USPTO extends Patents 4 Patients Pilot Program
The USPTO often provides special programs for certain technologies of interest. As part of the National Cancer Moonshot initiative, the USPTO established Patents 4 Patients, also known as the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program. According to the USPTO:
This program provides a fast-track review for cancer immunotherapy-related patent applications without the need for applicant to pay a petition fee. Under this program, patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy are advanced out of turn for examination, resulting in their accelerated review. Patents 4 Patients aims to cut the time it takes to review patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy in half by issuing final decisions in one year or less after they are received.
Today the USPTO announced that due to the high interest in the program and strong participation, including from independent inventors, universities, research institutions, hospitals, medical centers, government agencies, and large and small companies, the program has been extended until June 30, 2020.
The program provides significant advantages, if the patent application includes one or more claims to a method of treating a cancer using immunotherapy. To participate, the applicant must file a petition under this initiative using the USPTO patent electronic filing system (EFS-Web), where the application has not received a first Office action, or some other select conditions.
What’s more, no additional fee is required to participate in the program. The program provides for much faster examination and often much improved examination compared with the norm.