To accelerate innovation in the health and medical fields, the USPTO published a Federal Register Notice announcing a fifth extension of its Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program. Petitions requesting participation in the pilot program that are compliant with the program’s requirements and are filed on or before January 31, 2023, will be accepted. The extension will also allow the USPTO to continue the program while it evaluates potential expansion opportunities. The USPTO first implemented the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program in June 2016, in support of the White House’s National Cancer Moonshot initiative, which sought to accelerate cancer research. It permits patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy to be advanced out of turn for examination and reviewed earlier. The extension reflects the continued effectiveness of the pilot program. All parameters will remain the same as in the original pilot through the January 31, 2023, extension.
- Applications must contain one or more claims to a method of treating a cancer using immunotherapy.
- Applicants must file a grantable petition under this initiative using the USPTO patent electronic filing system (EFS-Web).
- Open to:
- any application that has not received a first Office action,
- any application where the petition is filed with a Request for Continued Examination (RCE), or
- any application not under final rejection where the claimed cancer immunotherapy is the subject of an active Investigational New Drug (IND) application that has entered Phase II or Phase III (FDA) clinical trials.
- No additional fee is required to participate in the program.