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USPTO extensions due to COVID-19

William G. Grigos, April 20, 2020

On March 31, 2020, The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced extensions to the time allowed to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees. These actions are an exercise of temporary authority provided to the USPTO by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed by President Trump on March 27.

The 30 day extension from due date applies to most Office notices and actions – including matters before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board – due between March 27 through April 30, 2020, provided that a filing is accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing was due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, patent maintenance fees and replies to an office notice issued during pre-examination processing, other than for small or micro entities, are not granted an extension.

The statement must show that the delay was due to a practitioner, applicant, patent owner, petitioner, third party requester, inventor, or other person associated with the filing or fee was personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This  includes, without limitation, 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.

The official patent and trademark notices with full details of applicable deadlines that may be extended may be found on the USPTO’s website: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/uspto-announces-extension-certain-patent-and-trademark-related-timing

If you have a due date for a communication from the USPTO that is not included in the official listing in the notices, please contact Edell, Shapiro & Finnan right away so that we may petition the USPTO for an extension based on your particular circumstances.

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