March 16, 2020

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a notice on March 16 about the effects of coronavirus. The USPTO is open for business but closed for public visits and in-person interviews. The coronavirus is considered to be an "extraordinary situation" for affected patent and trademark owners.

Acting within the Patent and Trademark statutes, the USPTO is waiving petition fees in certain situations for customers impacted by the coronavirus. It is important to note that the notice does not grant waivers or extensions of dates or requirements set by statute. The USPTO is waiving the fee requirements when reviving an abandoned patent or trademark, if the abandonment was caused by effects of the outbreak.

However, the USPTO is not granting waivers or extensions for dates or requirements set by statute, and therefore the following are not extendable by the petition:

For Patents

  • the one-year deadlines to file Utility Patents based on Provisional or Foreign Applications
  • the deadline requirements for filing Continuation, Continuation In Part or Divisional Applications
  • the three-month deadline to pay an issue fee
  • deadlines to file reexamination proceedings

For Trademarks

  • all post registration renewals and deadlines
  • deadlines to file statement of use or extension requests for pending Intent to use applications
  • the deadline to file opposition or cancellation proceedings

Read more details in the official notice.

As we continue to navigate this time period together, should you have any questions or concerns regarding your IP portfolio, please contact Adam Sacharoff at asacharoff@muchlaw.com or 312.521.2775.

This article contains material of general interest and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. Under applicable rules of professional conduct, this content may be regarded as attorney advertising.