USPTO Will Extend Deadlines for Delays Caused by COVID-19 Outbreak
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has extended trademark registration deadlines falling between March 27 and April 30, 2020. The 30-day extension applies to the most frequent procedural events pertaining to applications for, or maintenance of, federal trademark registrations. USPTO Notice dated March 31, 2020 (pursuant to Subsection 12004(a) of the CARES Act, which authorizes the director of the USPTO to adjust deadlines during the COVID-19 emergency).
The Notice requires that the filer submit, along with the filing or payment, a statement that the delay in filing was caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The USPTO considers a delay to be caused by the COVID-19 outbreak if an individual associated with the filing or fee was personally affected by the outbreak such that the outbreak materially interfered with the timely filing or payment. Examples of circumstances leading to delay include:
- Office closures
- Cash flow interruptions
- Inaccessibility of files or other materials
- Travel delays
- Personal or family illness
- Similar circumstances to those above
The USPTO expressly permits extensions for any of the following filings:
- Response to an office action, including a notice of appeal from a final refusal
- Statement of use or request for extension of time to file a statement of use
- Notice of opposition or request for extension of time to file a notice of opposition
- Claim of priority for a United States application based on an earlier-filed foreign application
- Claim of priority for a request for extension of protection to the United States based on an international registration
- Transformation of an extension of protection to the United States into a USPTO application
- Affidavit of use or excusable nonuse required to avoid cancellation of a registration
- Renewal application
- Affidavit of use or excusable nonuse required to avoid cancellation of an extension of protection to the United States
For filings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), a party may make a request or motion for an extension or reopening of time if the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented or interfered with a filing.
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