UPDATE: Impact of COVID-19 on USPTO and IP Practice


ginger chapman

Ginger T. Chapman



Update:  On June 29th, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that, due to the significant impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on many stakeholders, it has waived certain fees under its existing authority, and has extended certain patent and Patent Trial and Appeal Board deadlines under the Coronavirus Air, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  The USPTO recognized that, as businesses begin to reopen or resume operations, some stakeholders would continue to require relief, particularly small businesses and individuals. By the notice issued June 29th, under the CARES Act authority and its existing authority, the USPTO has extended from July 1st, 2020, to September 30th, 2020, the time for small and micro entities to pay certain patent-related fees that would otherwise have been due on March 27th, 2020.  The small and micro entity fees eligible for an extension until September 30, 2020, include: basic filing fees, issue fees, maintenance fees, and other fees as set forth in the June 29th notice. The USPTO has also waived the fee for filing a petition for the revival of applications that became abandoned, if accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Such petitions must be filed by July 31st, 2020, to be eligible for the petition fee waiver. Although some of the relief provided in past USPTO notices is ending, in addition to the June 29th extension, other extensions of time and other relief will available to those who need it on a case-by-case basis.

The USPTO has further indicated that it continues to evaluate the evolving situation around the COVID-19 outbreak and the impact on the USPTO’s operations and stakeholders.  However, at this time, the USPTO does not anticipate any further blanket extensions beyond those in the June 29, 2020 notice.

Details of the latest extension and notice of Waiver may be accessed on the USPTO website.

Attorneys and Wharton, Aldhizer & Weaver are available to assist with IP, patents and trademarks, and to answer any questions on these matters.