April 16, 2021 - This week the Treasury Department announced the establishment of the Office of Recovery Programs to oversee recovery programs authorized by the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act, and other legislation. The United States Patent and Trademark Office announced the COVID Appeals Fast-Track Pilot Program to expedite resolution of ex parte appeals for COVID-related inventions. There were no fiscal stimulus legislative proposals of note this week.
Regulatory Developments Relating to the Pandemic
Treasury Department Announces New Office of Recovery Programs
On April 14, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the establishment of the Office of Recovery Programs to lead the Department's implementation of economic relief and recovery programs. The Department named Jacob Leibenluft to lead the new office as its Chief Recovery Officer, reporting to the Treasury Department's Deputy Secretary. The new office will oversee programs authorized through the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act, and other legislation. These programs include the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, Emergency Rental Assistance, the Homeowner Assistance Fund, the State Small Business Credit Initiative, the Capital Projects Fund, the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Program, the Payroll Support Program, the Coronavirus Relief Fund, and the Airline and National Security Loan Program. Prior to the establishment of the Office of Recovery Programs, these programs were implemented by disparate Treasury Department offices. The Office of Tax Policy, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Bureau of Fiscal Service will continue to implement other recovery programs established throughout the tax code, including Economic Impact Payments and the enhanced Child Tax Credit, in coordination with the Office of Recovery Programs.
USPTO Institutes COVID Appeals Fast-Track Pilot Program
On April 14, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced the COVID Appeals Fast-Track Pilot Program under which the Patent Trial and Appeal Board will accept petitions for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals for COVID-related inventions. To be eligible for the program, an invention must relate to a product or process that is subject to an applicable U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for COVID-19 use. The pilot program will be limited to fast-track review of 500 ex parte appeals. The USPTO plans to issue a decision for these appeals within six months of entry into the pilot program, in part by employing expedited oral hearings.
Fiscal Stimulus Legislative Proposals
There were no fiscal stimulus legislative proposals of note this week.
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