On April 28, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), operating in accordance with the temporary authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), further extended the time to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and fees, which would have otherwise been due between March 27, 2020 through May 31, 2020, to June 1, 2020.
The CARES Act provides extraordinary relief for patent applicants and their counsel for nearly any patent-related deadline that falls between March 27, 2020 and May 31, 2020. A deadline that falls within that time frame is immediately extended – at no charge to the applicant – to June 1, 2020. Examples of such deadlines include, but are not limited to: replies to Office Actions; payment of issue fees; filing of documentation necessary for appeal proceedings; and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) procedural deadlines. A full list of the patent-related due dates that fall within the scope of relief provided by the CARES Act is found here.
The CARES Act also provides extraordinary relief for trademark applicants and their counsel for nearly any trademark-related deadline that falls between March 27, 2020 and May 31, 2020. As with the situation for patents, a trademark-related deadline that falls within the above time frame is immediately extended – at no charge to the applicant – to June 1, 2020. Examples of such deadlines include, but are not limited to: responses to Office Actions; filing statement(s) of use; filing opposition paperwork; and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) procedural deadlines. A full list of the trademark-related due dates that fall within the scope of the relief provided by the CARES Act is found here.
For patent- and trademark-related relief to be obtained, any subsequent filing with the USPTO needs to be accompanied by a statement citing the delay in filing or payment (as the case may be) was due to the COVID-19 outbreak as defined in the above-linked notices issued from the USPTO. The USPTO has developed a document that is suitable for this request and it is found here.
Importantly, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the USPTO remains open for the filing of documents and fees for both patent and trademark matters.