USPTO Joins Cancer Moonshot Effort, Expedites Immunotherapy Patent Applications

Legal Alert

On January 12, 2016, President Obama announced a "National Cancer Moonshot" in his State of the Union Address. The Moonshot aims to achieve ten years of progress in cancer research within the next five years. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has now decided to participate in this program by launching the “Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program.” This Pilot Program will allow the prosecution of patent applications that claim methods of treating cancer using immunotherapy to be expedited. Here’s what you need to know:

On petition from individual applicants, patents included in this initiative will receive “special” status, allowing them to advance out of turn for expedited review. The USPTO will seek to complete examination of these applications within twelve months of grant of special status. Applicants may petition for special status under the program at any time before a first Office action is issued, or, if the claimed cancer immunotherapy is the subject of active FDA trials as an investigational new drug, at any time before an appeal or final rejection. In addition to claiming an immunotherapy cancer treatment method, patents eligible for the initiative must contain no more than twenty claims and no more than three independent claims. The program went into effect on June 29th, 2016.

We at Stoel Rives will keep you updated as additional information about this exciting new initiative becomes available. If you have any specific questions, contact us.

Media Contact

Jamie Moss (newsPRos)
Media Relations
w. 201.493.1027 c. 201.788.0142

Mac Borkgren
Senior Manager, Marketing Communications & Operations

Jump to Page
Stay Informed Arrow

Subscribe to Our Updates