COVID-19 Extensions Set to Expire July 1, 2020 for Patents; Trademark Extensions Ended May 31

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On May 27, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a further extension of certain deadlines that were about to expire on May 31. The latest order provides until July 1, 2020 for certain actions delayed due to COVID-19.

For small and micro entities only, filings that would have been accepted if filed by June 1, 2020, will now be deemed timely if filed by July 1, 2020. After May 31, 2020, large entities should seek relief through the filing of a petition for an extension of time or a petition to revive.

For all entities, relief is provided in the form of a waiver of the petition fee for filing a petition for revival of applications that became abandoned, terminated, or limited on or before June 30, 2020, with a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Extensions of time are available for filing replies to Office actions and notices issued during patent processing or examination; and petitions to revive an application are available if any resulted in abandonment of an application, while petitions to accept a delayed maintenance payment are available if the fee was not been paid by its due date.

On the same day, the Trademark Office issued a statement that deadlines that were extended until May 31, 2020, were not further extended. The statement noted that applicants should file a petition to revive the application for missed dates of Office Action responses. Applicants who missed the 36-month statutory deadline for filing a Statement of Use, and their application has been abandoned, should file a Petition to the Director. Cancelled and expired registrations for failing to submit a timely response or fee in response to an Office communication regarding a registration may also file a Petition to the Director.

The USPTO will waive the petition fee for petitions to revive applications or reinstate registrations that became abandoned or expired/cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, with a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak, until June 30, 2020.

With regard to proceedings before the TTAB, if the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented or interfered with a filing, parties can make a request (in ex parte appeals) or motion (for trial cases) for an extension or reopening of time, as appropriate.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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