Deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program and collaboration database to encourage inventions related to COVID-19

The USPTO is implementing a deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program and collaboration database to promote the expedited exchange of information about inventions designed to combat COVID-19. Under this program, the USPTO will permit applicants to defer payment of the provisional application filing fee until the filing of a corresponding nonprovisional application. In turn, applicants must agree that the technical subject matter disclosed in their provisional applications will be made available to the public via a searchable collaboration database maintained on the USPTO’s website.

The pilot program will accept certifications and requests for participation for a period of 12 months, beginning on September 17, 2020. The USPTO may extend the pilot program (with or without modifications) or terminate it depending on the workload and resources needed to administer it, feedback from the public, and its effectiveness. Depending on feedback and public interest, the technological scope could also be expanded beyond COVID-19 to other areas that are the focus of pioneering or rapid innovation.

The pilot program description:

  • Under this program, the USPTO will permit applicants to defer payment of the provisional application filing fee until the filing of a corresponding nonprovisional application.
  • Applicants must agree that the technical subject matter disclosed in their provisional applications will be made available to the public via a searchable collaboration database maintained on the USPTO’s website.
  • The subject matter disclosed in the provisional application must concern a product or process related to COVID-19.
  • Such product or process must be subject to an applicable Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for COVID-19 use, whether such approval has been obtained, is pending, or will be sought prior to marketing the subject matter for COVID-19.
  • Applicants must use Pilot Program Form PTO/SB/452 to request participation in the pilot.
  • Provisional applications accepted into this pilot:
    • must include a technical disclosure
    • must include a provisional application cover sheet
    • must be submitted as DOCX format via the Patent Center
    • must include a certification and request to participate in the program (form PTO/SB/452) with the Patent Center filing.

How to file

  • Fill out Pilot Program form PTO/SB/452 (Certification and Request for COVID-19 Provisional Patent Application Program).
  • Save the form and upload it via the Patent Center along with the provisional application including all required parts.
  • When uploading your PTO/SB/452 form, select document description “COVID-19 Collab Database Request for Prov Appl” (found under “Pilot Programs” category) on the Patent Center Attach Documents screen to ensure processing.

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Contact us

For questions about EFS-Web or the PAIR system, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at 866-217-9197.

For questions regarding the deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program and collaboration database to encourage inventions related to COVID-19 Federal Register notice, please contact either Robert Clarke at 571-272-7735 or Kathleen Kahler Fonda at 571-272-7754 or via email to Covid19ProvisionalApplication@uspto.gov.