Takeaway: Qualifying patent applicants can receive expedited examination.
Due to COVID-19, the USPTO launched programs for patent applicants to receive prioritized examination of their applications. Programs such as the COVID-19 Prioritized Patent Examination Pilot Program and the COVID-19 Prioritized Trademark Examination Program offer qualifying patent and trademark applications the opportunity for prioritized examination.
Since the USPTO has offered these expedited examinations, 251 requests for prioritized patent applications have been granted which has resulted in 33 patents being granted to the applicants so far. Qualifying patent applications under the programs include applications for medical treatments, equipment, and technology related to COVID-19. The availability of expedited consideration for patent applications allows those with COVID-19 related inventions to secure their intellectual property rights as soon as possible as well as provide market availability.