[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 120 (Friday, June 23, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28645-28646]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-13122]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No.: PTO-P-2017-0026]


Extension of the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: On June 29, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark 
Office (USPTO) implemented the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program, 
which permits patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy to 
be advanced out of turn for examination and reviewed earlier (accorded 
special status). To date, over 80 petitions

[[Page 28646]]

requesting participation in the pilot program have been filed, and 9 
patents have been granted under the pilot program. Various stakeholders 
from around the world have filed petitions to participate in the pilot 
program--they are independent inventors, universities, research 
institutions, hospitals, medical centers, government agencies, and 
large and small companies. The pilot program was originally scheduled 
to end on June 28, 2017. In view of the continued interest in the pilot 
program, the USPTO is extending the pilot program until December 31, 
2018. All pilot parameters will remain the same as the original pilot.

DATES: Effective Date: June 23, 2017.
    Duration: The Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program will continue to 
run until December 31, 2018. Therefore, petitions to make special under 
the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program must be filed on or before 
December 31, 2018. The USPTO may further extend the pilot program (with 
or without modifications) or terminate it depending on feedback 
received, continued interest and the effectiveness of the pilot 
program.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pinchus M. Laufer, Patent Attorney 
(telephone (571) 272-7726; electronic mail at [email protected]) 
or Susy Tsang-Foster, Senior Legal Advisor (telephone (571) 272-7711; 
electronic mail at [email protected]), of the Office of 
Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for 
Patent Examination Policy.
    For questions relating to a specific petition, please contact Gary 
B. Nickol, Supervisory Patent Examiner (telephone (571) 272-0835; 
electronic mail at [email protected]) or Brandon J. Fetterolf, 
Supervisory Patent Examiner (telephone (571) 272-2919; electronic mail 
at [email protected]), of Technology Center 1600.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The USPTO published a notice for the 
implementation of the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program on June 29, 
2016. See Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program, 81 FR 42328 (June 29, 
2016), 1428 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 253 (July 26, 2016) (Cancer 
Immunotherapy Notice). The pilot program was designed to support the 
global fight against cancer. The Cancer Immunotherapy Notice indicated 
that an applicant may have an application advanced out of turn 
(accorded special status) for examination without meeting all of the 
current requirements of the accelerated examination program set forth 
in item VIII of MPEP section 708.02(a), if the application contained at 
least one claim to a method of treating cancer using immunotherapy and 
met other requirements specified in the Cancer Immunotherapy Notice.
    The Cancer Immunotherapy Notice established that the pilot program 
would run for twelve months from June 29, 2016. The USPTO is hereby 
extending the pilot program through December 31, 2018 in view of the 
continued interest in the pilot program. The extension also will allow 
the USPTO to continue its evaluation of the pilot program. The 
requirements of the pilot program have not been modified.
    Various stakeholders from around the world have filed petitions to 
participate in the pilot program--they are independent inventors, 
universities, research institutions, hospitals, medical centers, 
government agencies, and large and small companies. To date, over 80 
petitions requesting participation in the pilot program have been 
filed, and 9 patents have been granted under the pilot program. The 
USPTO may again extend the pilot program (with or without 
modifications) depending on the feedback from the participants, 
continued interest, and the effectiveness of the pilot program.

    Dated: June 19, 2017.
Joseph Matal,
Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce 
for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and 
Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2017-13122 Filed 6-22-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P