USPTO announces Cancer Moonshot Expedited Examination Pilot Program

To further accelerate innovation in the health and medical fields, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published a Federal Register Notice announcing a new program: The Cancer Moonshot Expedited Examination Pilot Program.

Beginning on February 1, 2023, the new program expedites examination for a broad scope of technologies to prevent cancer and cancer mortality, in support of President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot.  Patent applications pertaining to the qualifying technologies will be advanced out of turn for examination and will be reviewed earlier (accorded special status). The program is scheduled to run until either January 31, 2025, or the date by which the USPTO accepts a total of 1,000 grantable petitions (whichever is earlier).

“As a cancer survivor myself, I am proud of the work being done across federal agencies to reignite this effort," said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “Achieving the President's goals to end cancer as we know it largely depends on innovators and researchers to develop and patent new technological advancements. The Cancer Moonshot Expedited Examination Pilot Program will help advance the work to do just that.”

“Innovation in the field of cancer prevention and treatment is how we will accomplish President Biden’s goal of reducing the cancer mortality rate by at least 50% within 25 years through the renewed Cancer Moonshot initiative,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “The USPTO is excited to offer this new, expansive pilot program to help accelerate the patenting of key technology to bring those solutions to market and end of cancer once and for all.”

The new program replaces the USPTO’s Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program, which was first implemented in 2016 and expedited examination for eligible patent applications pertaining to methods of treating a cancer using immunotherapy. That program terminates on January 31, 2023.

The full text of the notice is available on the Patent Related Notices webpage.