USPTO Extends Patent and Trademark Deadlines During The COVID-19 Pandemic
In the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, there have been a tremendous number of disruptions in conventional business functioning. On March 16, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) initially issued a notice that it would be waiving the fees for all petitions to revive abandoned patents and patent applications, as well as trademark registrations and applications, if the failure to respond to a pending deadline was caused by the coronavirus emergency. Many other statutory deadlines could not be extended at that time.
On March 31, 2020, under the authority of the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the USPTO issued additional notices of waiver of deadlines under the CARES Act. Certain enumerated USPTO deadlines will be extended by 30 days if:
• the initial deadline falls between March 27 and April 30, 2020 inclusive;
• the delay in responding was due to the COVID-19 emergency, including but not limited to “office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files/materials, travel delays, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances, such that the outbreak materially interfered with timely filing or payment”
• the late submission includes a statement that the late filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Patent-related deadlines being extended include:
• replies to any Office Action or Notice, either substantive or pre-examination
• payments of issue fees
• all ex parte appeal deadlines, including notices of appeal and brief filing
• maintenance fee payments for small and micro entities (not large entities)
• requests for rehearing of PTAB decisions.
Notably absent from this list are deadlines centering around the initial filing of patent applications and claiming priority to foreign or PCT applications.
Trademark-related deadlines being extended include:
• responses to all Office Actions, including filing a notice of appeal
• statements of use and extensions of time for statements of use
• notices of opposition or extensions of time therefor
• convention priority claims for foreign applications
• affidavits of use or excusable non-use.
We will be monitoring the situation closely and will provide updates as appropriate.
For additional information, please feel free to contact Adam Cohen (at 212-519-5146, firstname.lastname@example.org), Brendan McFeely (at 212-519-5188, email@example.com), Barry Negrin (212-519-5166, firstname.lastname@example.org), Paul Szabo (212-519-5143, email@example.com), or Linda Dougherty (212-519-5144, firstname.lastname@example.org) in our Intellectual Property Department.