The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced the final deadline for submission of applications for its Patents for Humanity COVID-19 award: The submission deadline is 5 p.m. ET, September 30, 2021.

Patents for Humanity is the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) awards competition recognizing innovators who use game-changing technology to meet global humanitarian challenges. The Patents for Humanity COVID-19 award category was launched April 5, 2021, for patent applicants, holders, and licensees whose inventions track, prevent, diagnose, or treat COVID-19. The program highlights COVID-19 success stories that will inspire others to harness innovation for human progress.

Any U.S. patent or patent application that addresses COVID-19 is eligible for this award, including any inventions created to track, diagnose, prevent, or treat the disease.

Patents for Humanity submissions are evaluated on the effectiveness of their technology to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the actions taken by the applicant to make the technology available to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact the applicant’s contributions have made to deploy the technology for the benefit of the public.

Aside from public recognition for their work, Patents for Humanity Award COVID-19 award winners will receive a certificate to accelerate USPTO processing for one eligible matter (such as an ex parte reexamination proceeding, or a patent application).

For information on the USPTO’s Pilot Program for prioritized examination on patent applications of a product or process related to COVID-19 diagnosis or treatment, please see our blog here.

The award certificate now has more options for use than those given in previous competitions: Under the Patents for Humanity Program Improvement Act passed by Congress in 2021, award winners now may transfer their acceleration certificates to third parties, including for compensation. This means that winners can now leverage the acceleration certificate to obtain funds to help transform their inventions into deliverable goods and services.

The USPTO will only continue to accept applications for the Patents for Humanity COVID-19 category until September 30, 2021. For details about how to apply, visit the USPTO’s Patents for Humanity COVID-19 page on the USPTO website.