COVID-19: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Response
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) under its authority granted by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has helped ease the burden for patent and trademark owners impacted by COVID-19. In three directives recently issued by the USPTO, it provides measures for reducing immediate costs associated with patent and trademark filings.
In the first directive issued March 16, 2020, the USPTO waived the fee to revive patent and trademark applications and the fee to reinstate cancelled or expired trademark registrations as a result of failing to respond to deadlines due to COVID-19. Details regarding acceptable justifications for the failure to respond are set forth in the directive.
In the second directive (specific to patents) and third directive (specific to trademarks), both issued March 30, 2020, the USPTO went further to allow 30 day extensions of time for certain deadlines and fees falling on March 27 through April 30, 2020, provided the late filing is accompanied by a statement advising that the delay is due to COVID-19. Acceptable reasons for the delay are broadly stated to include “if a practitioner, applicant, registrant or other person associated with the filing/fee was personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including through 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.” Details regarding the specific deadlines affected are set forth in the directives.
If you believe you or your organization falls under any of the above relief provisions and you need assistance complying with the USPTO’s guidelines, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at +1-248-594-0600.