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The European Patent Office (EPO) has expanded its resources for researchers working on technologies to fight the coronavirus:

Innovation is one of humanity's best tools to fight the threat of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Technologies that have been developed in response to earlier pandemics, e.g. the HIV pandemic and the influenza pandemic of 1968, can already save lives today. Massive R&D investments are now being directed towards developing new technology responses to the virus, and the leap in COVID-19 related innovations is reflected in every imaginable sector from pharmaceuticals to disinfectants and from IT diagnostics to smart furniture.

Patents play an important role in this context: According to a recent EPO announcement, there are now almost 150 prepared patent search statements to run in Espacenet, helping to share the latest patent information and knowledge on technologies which are useful in combating the virus. Comprehensive patent searches for applications in all areas of technology can be delivered in 4,4 months on average. For applicants who require a fast track patent procedure, regardless of the technology they are developing, the EPO offers accelerated prosecution of European patent applications free of charge.