USPTO Extends Trademark And Patent Deadlines Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The (US) National Law Journal reports….

As IP Offices around the world work to mitigate the impact of the global health threat, the U.S. CARES Act gives USPTO authority to extend statutory deadlines to help ease burden of IP owners affected by COVID-19

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law on March 27, 2020, which provides relief to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis, also offers relief to intellectual property owners facing challenges meeting filing and response deadlines due to the unprecedented health crisis.

Section 12004 of the CARES Act gives additional authority to the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to “toll, waive, adjust, or modify any timing deadline” established by law in order to help bring relief to trademark and patent owners currently facing business uncertainties due to the pandemic.

On Tuesday, the USPTO announced that various trademark filing and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board deadlines originally due between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020 will be extended 30 days from the initial due date for those affected by the crisis.

These extensions apply to, among others, responses to office actions, statements of use, notices of opposition, priority filings, and renewal applications. In order to qualify, the relevant filing must be accompanied by a statement that the practitioner, applicant, registrant, or other person associated with the filing was personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including through office closures, cash flow interruptions, or inaccessibility of files.

The USPTO has also extended deadlines for patent applications, patent re-examinations and certain proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, provided the delay was due to the outbreak.

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