IP Cases & Articles

US fast-tracks cancer immunology patent examinations

On 29 June 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began a pilot program to provide for earlier review of patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy (the"Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program").

Applications containing a claim or claims to a method of treating a cancer using immunotherapy will be advanced out of turn for examination in the national phase, without the need to meet all the current requirements of the USPTO's accelerated examination program, provided that the applicant files a grantable petition to make the application special under the pilot program. PCT applications which have entered the national phase in the United States of America under 35 U.S.C. 371 may also benefit from this program.

For further information, please refer to the USPTO notice here.

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