On June 15, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) announced a new COVID-19 prioritized examination program for certain trademark and service mark applications that will expedite the initial examination process for qualifying applications. Under the new program, the USPTO will accept petitions to advance the initial examination of applications for marks that identify qualifying COVID-19 medical products and services. If a petition is granted, the examination period for the subject application can be shortened by approximately two months.
To be eligible for prioritized examination, the subject application must seek registration for one or more of the following qualifying COVID-19 medical goods or services:
Pharmaceutical products or medical devices that prevent, diagnose, treat or cure COVID-19 and are subject to approval by the United States Food & Drug Administration, including diagnostic tests, ventilators and personal protective equipment; and
Medical services or medical research services for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment of or cure for COVID-19.
Applicants who wish to seek prioritized examination must first file their application and then file an appropriate petition. The petition must include a statement of facts setting forth the COVID-19 medical goods or services and explaining why they qualify for prioritized examination. The petition must also reference the section of the Code of Federal Regulations under which such goods or services are regulated. The USPTO has waived the fee for these petitions and began accepting them on June 16, 2020.