USPTO Extends Deadlines for Intellectual Property Filings due to COVID-19 Outbreak
On March 31, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced it was using powers provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to extend certain due dates for patent and trademark related filings.
These extensions will provide an additional 30 days to respond to deadlines throughout the patent and trademark prosecution, maintenance, and assertion processes. Some common deadlines which can be extended include responses to Office Actions, filing of renewal requests or maintenance fees, and some activities before both the Patent and Trademark Trial and Appeal Boards (PTAB and TTAB). For more details about which patent deadlines are impacted, see this notice and for trademark deadlines, see this notice. Note some of the deadline relief is limited to the status of the filer as a small or micro entity. In all cases, the deadlines impacted are from March 27 to April 30, 2020, inclusive.
Importantly, these extensions are only available if the delay is supported with an accompanying statement of impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. This statement can apply to a broad range of people and situations. The statement can relate to a practitioner, applicant, registrant, patent owner, petitioner, third party requester, inventor or other persons associated with the filing or fee who were personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Provided applicable situations include office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delays, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances, such that the outbreak materially interfered with timely filing or payment.
This deadline extension expands on relief previously provided to patent and trademark applicants, which allows waiver of the petition fee required to revive or reinstate a canceled or expired registration if the abandonment is due to COVID-19 outbreak issues. Other requirements of the petition, including timing deadlines after abandonment, remain unchanged. For more details about this for both patents and trademarks, please see this notice. Additionally, on April 6, 2020, the USPTO issued FAQs for the patent and trademark deadline extensions.
If you have questions concerning your trademark or enforcement activities and the possibility of reviving an expired application or extending your deadlines at the USPTO, we would be pleased to confirm availability and provide the necessary statement so you can take advantage of this provided relief. Koley Jessen stands ready to partner with your business through this crisis, including the protection of your trademark assets.
* The information contained in this document is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as business, legal, accounting, tax, financial, investment or other advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for such.
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