“Protecting COVID-19-Related Software Innovations”August 28, 2020
On August 28, 2020, IPWatchdog published an article co-authored by Partner Ryan Phelan and Associate Shannon Hughes Mastick discussing the USPTO’s recently announced COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program and considerations for patenting software-related innovations.
The COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program will advance certain COVID-19-related patent applications out of turn, resulting in prioritized examination for qualifying applications. Currently, the USPTO is only accepting 500 total requests for prioritized examination. “As of August 13, 2020, 255 requests for prioritized examination under this pilot program have been filed, of which 134 requests have been granted, leaving 366 request slots still available,” the authors explain.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, medical and / or pharmaceutical-related inventions designed to treat or diagnose COVID-19 have been making headlines. That said, there have also been numerous software developments designed to address present day needs that have been brought on by an increasing demand for video conferencing, new mask and social distancing requirements, changing disinfection rules, contract tracing procedures, widespread temporary or permanent closing of restaurants, and more.
The authors discuss considerations for patenting these software-related innovations and describing COVID-19 improvements to demonstrate eligibility.