In the past few months, the USPTO has made a number of changes in response to the spread of coronavirus. The focus has been both protecting USPTO employees and lessening the burden on affected practitioners and applicants alike. Now the USPTO has begun an effort aimed at solving the problem itself.
This month, the USPTO launched their new IP Marketplace Platform Pilot Program “Patents 4 Partnerships”. Per the USPTO announcement, the platform is “a centralized and easily accessible database of U.S. patents and published patent applications that are voluntarily made available for licensing.”
During its preliminary stage, the pilot will be focused technology related to the current pandemic. Specifically, Patents 4 Partnerships is currently limited to patents and published applications for the “prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of or protection from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including disinfectants, test kits, ventilators, and components thereof”. Listed publications were collected from 3rd party sources as well as the Official Gazette Notice of Patents and Patent Applications Available for License or Sale.
Additions to the platform may be made by the IP owner through a form on the platform website, while errors can be corrected by reaching out to the USPTO. The USPTO plans to use the next six months to test the platform and determine its future in relation to the Official Gazette Notice of Patents and Patent Applications Available for License or Sale.