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


ginger chapman

Ginger T. Chapman


Update: On April 28, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) extended certain patent and trademark deadlines to June 1, 2020. In accordance with their temporary authority under the CARES Act, the USPTO further extended the time to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees which otherwise would have been due between March 27 and May 31, to June 1, 2020. This is in addition to the prior extension the USPTO had announced on March 31, 2020 as stated in our original blog posted on April 17, 2020.

The new Notice of Waiver of Patent-Related Deadlines and Notice of Waiver of Trademark-related Deadlines under the CARES Act supersedes the previously posted notices.

The Patent Notice details that the filing or payment must be accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was “due to the OCVID-19 outbreak” which is defined as “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, including, without limitation, through office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delay, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances, such that the outbreak materially interfered with timely filing or payment.” Responses and fee deadlines that may be extended include responses to Office actions, payments of issue fees, filings of notices of appeal and reply briefs, and payments of maintenance fees. Additional relief for proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) includes a 30-day extension of time for a patent owner preliminary response in a trial proceeding under 37 C.F.R. §§ 42.107 or 42.207, or any related responsive filings.

The Trademark Notice details that the extension of deadlines includes filing of responses to Office actions, filing of notices of appeal, filing statements of use, and filing notices of opposition. Requests or motions for an extension or reopening of time may be filed

The USPTO is open for the filing of patent and trademark documents and fees. The USPTO continues to “evaluate the evolving situation around the COVID-19 outbreak and the impact on the USPTO’s operations and stakeholders.”

Details of the latest extension and Notice(s) of Waiver may be accessed on the USPTO website.