The USPTO recently launched a new web-based IP marketplace platform, Patents 4 Partnerships. The marketplace serves as a searchable forum to connect COVID-19 technology owners wishing to license their IP with those having the ability to commercialize the technology.

The COVID-19 patent licensing page at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
The COVID-19 patent licensing page at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

Essentially, those owning U.S. Patents and Publications who wish to license their COVID-19 technology can place their technology on the marketplace platform. The platform is searchable using various parameters, such as keyword, inventor name, patent number, etc. Each entry lists the technology title, the patent/publication number, the first named inventor, the issue/publication date, and licensing options. The owner of each technology can include the abstract of the technology as well as links to the full patent/publication. In addition, the technology owner can include licensing information. Such information can include contacts for licensing, an overview of the licensing process, next steps, etc.

The initial entries were compiled from a variety of public sources. These sources include databases from the USPTO, the AUTM Innovation Marketplace, universities, and a number of federal agencies. Such federal agencies include the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Department of Defense.

The initial site includes only patents and publications related “to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19”. However, the site may be expanded later to include other technologies. Examples of the types of technologies currently available for licensing on the site include vaccines, treatments, ventilators, disinfectants, personal protective equipment (PPE), testing equipment, etc. Currently, 175 technologies are available on the site. However, this is not an exhaustive list of all patents/publications related to COVID-19.

Differences from Open COVID Pledge

The Patents 4 Partnerships platform is separate from the Open COVID Pledge post that we wrote about previously. Patents 4 Partnerships provides a user friendly searchable database of COVID-19 technologies. It connects technology owners with interested licensees, potentially for monetization of the license. In contrast, the Open COVID Pledge is a group of technology owners who are pledging temporary use of their technology royalty-free for the limited purpose of fighting COVID-19. The owners of the technologies listed on the Patents 4 Partnerships site may or may not also be members of the Open COVID Pledge. From a brand standpoint, it would likely be beneficial for IP owners to both be a part of the Open COVID Pledge and to list their IP on Patents 4 Partnerships.