September 26, 2020
Florida-Based Innovation in Response to COVID-19

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Florida-Based Innovation in Response to COVID-19

Our Opportunity to Foster Innovation & Establish Patent Rights for Long-Term Economic Growth

One of the few encouraging stories about COVID-19 has been the number of people who have come up with creative solutions to counter its effects. This
burst of innovation has not been limited to academics and medical professionals. Recently, our law firm has received inquiries from Florida and South American innovators ranging from teachers to small business owners and hospitality workers who are creating solutions to limit the spread of the disease. Yet these inventors face many challenges in bringing their ideas to fruition, and as a result, the economic potential of their inventions is not always realized. There are the usual expenses associated with developing a product and launching it into the market, as well as the costs of obtaining patent protection. For inventions that relate to COVID-19, it becomes crucial to obtain patent protection as quickly as possible, since the market can drastically change by the time a patent is granted.

Despite these challenges, there may be new opportunities for protecting an invention in the United States. In May of this year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced a COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program. The USPTO allows a patent applicant to ask for expedited review if, for example, the applicant meets certain criteria based on age or health, or if the underlying invention enhances the quality of the environment. Before the new program, an applicant could pay an additional fee to request expedited review. Under the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program, small and micro entities (companies with fewer than 500 employees) who request prioritized examination will be exempt from paying the extra fees. In addition, the USPTO has established a goal of reaching a final disposition within six months. This is an attractive option for small and micro entities, since it can normally take up to 18 months, and sometimes more, for a patent applicant to even get an initial response. This pilot program is not limited to any particular type of invention, but it is ideal for COVID-19-related inventions as it is tailored to benefit small and micro entities.

Our firm’s 16 registered patent lawyers can assist in filing these and all other types of patent applications in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Robert H. Thornburg and David I. Roncayolo are Registered Patent Attorneys with Allen, Dyer, Doppelt + Gilchrist, PA and located in the Miami, FL offices. For a consultation regarding your IP needs, please contact ADD+G at 407-841-2330 (Miami office 305-374-8303) or visit allendyer.com.

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