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Patent protection for cancer treatments is critical to safeguard the considerable time, effort and expenses involved in such endeavors. The United States Patent Office has a special program that enables cancer researchers to obtain patent protection for their inventions with unprecedented speed (less than one year!) and without any additional fees required. The Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program has been extended to June 30, 2022. This program has proven to be exceptionally useful in advancing the protection and commercialization of cancer treatments and should be employed by everyone in the cancer research field.
Andre Gide once said, “One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” The journey every single inventor makes through the patenting process is admittedly uncertain, with no assurances that it will result in an issued patent. But a terrific program implemented by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) makes such a journey far shorter than it would otherwise be. The “Patents 4 Patients” program, also known as the “Cancer Moon Shot” program, was introduced in 2016 and has now been extended until June 30, 2022, now entitled “Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program.” This program permits patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy to be advanced out of turn for examination and reviewed earlier (accorded special status). It provides for the extremely prompt examination of qualifying patent applications – without any additional fees – and has resulted in the issuance of over 400 patents in the last few years – which otherwise would not have issued for years to come.
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