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USPTO Extends Certain Patent and Trademark Deadlines

April 2, 2020

On March 31, 2020, in accordance with The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu issued a public notice regarding the extension of certain patent and trademark deadlines. 

Provided that a statement is submitted noting that the delay in filing or payment is due to COVID-19, certain Patent and Trademark due dates falling between March 27, 2020, and April 30, 2020, will be extended by 30 days. Examples of such delays 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 such timely filing or payment."

Patents
The list of persons affected includes the inventor, applicant, patent owner, petitioner, third party requester, practitioner or any other person associated with the filing. The 30-day extension applies to the following:

  • Replies to pre-examination notices (micro or small entity only)
  • Responses to Office Actions (non-final and final) and notices of non-compliant amendments
  • Payment of Issue Fees
  • Filing of Notices of Appeal, Appeal Briefs, Reply Briefs and payment of fees associated therewith
  • Request for oral hearing before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), request for rehearing of PTAB decision and other PTAB deadlines
  • Payment of maintenance fees (micro or small entity only)
For PTAB matters not covered by the public notice, parties may submit a request for extension of time "where the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented or interfered with a filing before the Board." The USPTO is accepting patent documents via e-filing, U.S. Postal Service by Priority Mail Express®, with a certificate of mailing, by hand or by fax, depending on the type of patent document.

Click here to read the USPTO's notice on patents. 

Trademarks
The list of persons affected includes registrants, applicants, practitioners and any other person associated with the filing. The 30-day extension applies to the following:

  • Responses to Office Actions, including Notices of Appeals from a final refusal
  • Filing and payment for an extension request or Statement of Use
  • Extension request to file a Notice of Opposition and filing of a Notice of Opposition
  • Deadlines to file priority-based applications
  • Proof of use and renewal filings
  • Extension of protection to the United States from a foreign filing
For Trademark Trial and Appeal Board matters not covered by the March 31 notice, requests or motions, as applicable, can be made "where the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented or interfered with a filing before the Board." 

Click here to read the USPTO's notice on trademarks. 
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