The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) announced that it is extending the time to file certain documents or fees if a person is unable to meet the deadline due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Certain deadlines related to Patent or Trademark prosecution falling between and including March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020 will be extended 30 days from the initial due date. To receive deadline relief, the filing must be accompanied by a statement that the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak because a party involved was “personally affected” by COVID-19 “such that the outbreak materially interfered with timely filing or payment.” The Notice gives examples such as, “office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delays, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances.”
Certain deadlines related to proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) can also take advantage of the 30-day extension. For proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) and all other PTAB deadlines, a request or a motion for an appropriate extension of time can be made if necessary.
In addition to the above relief, the PTO previously waived the fees for petitions to revive patent and trademark applications and petitions to reinstate cancelled or expired trademark registrations if due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on the March 16, 2020 Notice, click here.
Notwithstanding this notice and waiver of certain deadlines, the PTO remains open and active. Further, certain deadlines, such as those to file non-provisional applications, PCT or national stage deadlines, or deadlines for filing an inter partes review petitions are not extended.
Your Hovey contact can provide you with more information if you have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and need to seek relief from an upcoming deadline.