USPTO Announces New Extension of Filing Deadlines
On April 28th, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued another notice regarding the further extension of certain filing deadlines in support of patent and trademark owners and applicants impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. This latest notice supersedes all previously announced extensions, including in its March 31st notice which we shared last month. What’s changed?
- The extension now applies to certain filing deadlines falling between March 27 and May 31, 2020.
- Unlike the March 31st notice which provided a 30-day extension of time, the USPTO now requires that all eligible filings be made on or before June 1, 2020 in order to be considered timely.
- If you are not eligible for or cannot meet the new June 1 deadline, the USPTO’s existing procedures to revive an abandoned patent or trademark application or reinstate a canceled/expired trademark registration are still available. However, the USPTO will only waive petition fees for those applications that become abandoned and registrations that are cancelled on or before May 31, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
One element that has not changed is the USPTO’s materiality requirement. Filings must still be accompanied by a written statement that the COVID-19 outbreak “materially interfered with timely filing or payment.” The extension offered by the USPTO should be used with caution as the statement may be questioned later in the event of litigation.
If your business is affected in any way by the COVID-19 outbreak, we can help look for creative ways to approach upcoming filings, including identifying and prioritizing upcoming deadlines that cannot be extended. Also, please keep in mind that many other the patent and trademark offices in other countries are also offering deadline extensions due to COVID-19. If you have questions relating to managing your IP during the COVID-19 crisis, please contact your Patent GC attorney or Michelle Rosenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-405-0048, or visit our website’s Contact Us page to request help.