In the latest in a series of steps intended to bring calm to the US IP landscape in the face of coronavirus, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a “COVID-19 Response Resource Center” to “provide stakeholders and other interested parties with improved access to USPTO initiatives, programs, and other helpful IP-related information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak”.
Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, said:
“As it always does, our nation’s innovation community will play a crucial role in devising creative solutions to the ongoing pandemic. The USPTO stands shoulder-to-shoulder with inventors and entrepreneurs and is working on a variety of measures to incentivize, protect, and disseminate COVID-19 related innovation. The COVID-19 Response Resource Center will provide inventors, entrepreneurs, and IP practitioners with a centralized destination to access information and assistance needed to meet the challenges of these times.”
The resource center will allow users to view information on a number of USPTO initiatives, including its “Patents 4 Partnerships” IP marketplace platform and the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program for accelerating the evaluation of patent applications directed to COVID-19 related technologies. Information on trademark counterfeiting and consumer fraud, as well as updates on international developments related to the COVID-19 outbreak, are also available.
The resource center also includes links to the USPTO’s Pro Bono Program, information on voluntary early patent application publication, and resources for inventors and small businesses. The USPTO is currently inviting the public to submit recommendations or suggestions for it to consider as it seeks to assist the IP community.