As we all continue to adjust our lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is providing relief to those individuals, practitioners, registrants, applicants, or any other person associated with a filing who has a matter before the office and has been impacted by the outbreak. With the recent passing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed by President Trump on March 27, the USPTO has extended due dates by 30 days for most filings that were/are due between the time period of March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020.
This relief applies to both patents and trademarks, and provides specific relief for anyone who was personally impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak through a litany of situations including personal illness, illness of a family member, office closures, cash flow interruptions, inability to access certain files or other materials, and other similar circumstances.
To comply with the requirements for the thirty-day extension the response, filing, or payment must include a statement that the delay is a result of COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition to this thirty-day extension of time, the USPTO has additionally relaxed certain requirements that require original handwritten, ink signatures.
Other than these two forms of relief, the USPTO is generally functioning normally. This means these forms of relief do not apply to priority filing deadlines, statutory deadlines, or certain matters and proceedings before the PTAB.
All of the specific details and requirements can be found at the USPTO's dedicated webpage for coronavirus-related information: https://www.uspto.gov/coronavirus
If you have any questions about how the COVID-19 has impacted your intellectual property, we are here to help. Give me a call at 651.968.4716 or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out gutweinlaw.com/informed-ip for more information on all things intellectual property related.
COVID-19 Response Team