September 30 at 5 p.m. ET is the deadline for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 2021 Patents for Humanity Awards Program, which this year is solely focused on innovations related to COVID-19.
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. Applicants may collaborate on a single joint application as long as at least one applicant meets the eligibility criteria.
In addition to public recognition of their work, winners will receive a certificate that grants them accelerated USPTO processing for one eligible innovation. A new feature for this special award category is that winners may transfer their acceleration certificate to a third party.
Patents for Humanity recognizes innovators who use game-changing technology to meet global humanitarian challenges. The program provides business incentives for reaching those in need: winners receive an acceleration certificate to expedite select proceedings at the USPTO, as well as public recognition of their work. The awards showcase how patent holders with vision are pioneering innovative ways to provide affordable, scalable, and sustainable solutions for the less fortunate.