The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has created a new intellectual property platform for patent-related COVID-19 technologies that are available for licensing. The initial goal of the Patents 4 Partnerships platform is to facilitate the commercialization of new products and technologies that can prevent diagnose, or treat the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

“Patents 4 Partnerships is a meeting place that enables patent owners who want to license their IP rights to connect with the individuals and businesses who can turn those rights into solutions for our health and wellbeing,” Andrei Iancu, Director of the USPTO, said in a press statement.

How Patents 4 Partnerships Works

Patents 4 Partnerships is essentially an online database designed to facilitate connections between entities who have technologies and want to make them available for licensing and those who have an interest in and the ability to commercialize the technologies.

For entities who would like to make their inventions available for licensing, the IP Marketplace Platform provides a centralized and easily accessible place to list U.S. patents and patent application publications. Potential licensees can then search the database of available technologies using a variety of parameters, such as keyword, inventor name, assignee, and issue date. For each technology, the platform lists whether the licensing status is currently “available” or “unknown” by the USPTO. The platform also provides a link to sources that include the licensing information for each specific technology.

In light of needs created by the current pandemic, the initial release of the IP Marketplace Platform focuses on listing technologies related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19, including personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfectants, ventilators, testing equipment and components thereof. According to the USPTO, the platform may be expanded to additional technologies once the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

The Patents 4 Partnerships Platform currently includes information derived from several sources, including the USPTO, the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer, the AUTM Innovation Marketplace, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense. IP owners are invited to submit additional technologies that they believe are related to the COVID-19 crisis.

Negotiating IP Licenses

As noted by the USPTO, previous or ongoing legal actions, administrative actions, or other causes may affect the legal status of published patent applications or patents listed on the Platform. In addition, transfers of rights, such as assignments and licenses affecting the published patent applications or patents listed on the Patents 4 Partnerships Platform, may not be known to the USPTO and consequently not be reflected on the database. 

It is also important to highlight that the USPTO’s Patents for Partnership platform is intended to facilitate connections between licensees and licensors. The negotiation of any transfers or grants of rights for the IP listed on the platform will be conducted by the parties, and their legal counsel, outside the USPTO platform.

When it comes to IP rights, it is essential to work with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you maximize your profits, limit your risks, and protect your legal rights. At Scarinci Hollenbeck, our intellectual property attorneys can help patent owners and potential licensees successfully navigate the patent licensing process.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, David Einhorn, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-896-4100.