On December 22, 2022, the US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) announced the fifth extension of the Modified COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program. The pilot program had been set to terminate on December 31, 2022, and is now extended to February 15, 2023. The program was implemented to support the acceleration of innovations in the fight against COVID-19. Under the pilot program, an applicant may request prioritized examination without payment of the prioritized examination fee and associated processing fee if the following criteria are met:
- The patent application’s claim(s) cover a product or process related to COVID-19.
- The product or process is subject to an applicable US Food & Drug Administration approval for COVID-19 use.
- The applicant meets other requirements noted in the COVID-19 Track One Notice.
For more information, see the Federal Register notice.
The PTO also announced on December 29, 2022, that the new fee for filing nonprovisional utility patent applications that do not conform to the PTO requirements for submission in DOCX format will be deferred to the new effective date of April 3, 2023. The fee was originally scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2023. For more information, see the Federal Register notice.
The PTO and the US Copyright Office announced on December 23, 2022, that the deadline for submitting written comments on intellectual property considerations related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has been extended from January 9, 2023, to February 3, 2023. The dates for the public roundtables directed to patents, trademarks and copyrights, respectively, also have changed as follows:
- The first roundtable, Trademarks and NFTs, is now set for January 24, 2023 (originally scheduled for January 12, 2023).
- The second roundtable, Patents and NFTs, has been moved to January 26, 2023 (originally scheduled for January 10, 2023).
- The third roundtable, Copyrights and NFTs, has been moved to January 31, 2023.
The roundtables will be livestreamed, and the PTO and Copyright Office will post instructions for the public to register to view them live. Click here for more information about the topics that will be discussed. For more information about the schedule change, see the Federal Register notice.
The PTO also announced that small entity filing fee discounts are increased from 50% to 60% and micro entity filing fee discounts are increased from 75% to 80%. The discount increases went into effect on December 29, 2022, when US President Joe Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, which included the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022. The new PTO fee schedule can be found here.