June 30, 2020
Intellectual Property Alert
Intellectual Property Alert
The United States Patent and Trademark Office announced extensions for certain patent and trademark filing and payment deadlines under the CARES Act. The decision to extend certain deadlines is the latest in a series of actions taken by the USPTO in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 31, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced extensions for certain patent and trademark filing and payment deadlines under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The decision to extend certain deadlines is the latest in a series of actions taken by the USPTO in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our March 23rd Alert discussed the USPTO’s waiver of fees for petitions filed pursuant to 37 C.F.R. 1.137(a) and waiver of the handwritten signature requirement. It also discussed a number of statutory deadlines that continue to remain in effect.
The March 31st Announcement contains two additional notices—one for Patents and one for Trademarks —outlining extensions for certain deadlines for those affected by the CORONAVIRUS outbreak. The March 31st Announcement provided that deadlines falling on or after March 27, 2020, through April 30, 2020, were to be extended by 30 days from the initial due date. The USPTO has since issued updated notices on April 28, May 27, and June 29.
In the April 28 Notice, the USPTO announced subsequent extensions to the due dates for certain previously extended deadlines falling between March 27, 2020 and May 31, 2020, to June 1, 2020. The April 28th Announcement removed the 30-day extension provision previously provided in the March 31st Announcement. Per the USPTO’s guidance, if additional time was needed, any available extensions of time would then be calculated from June 1.
The May 27 and June 29 Notices provide further extensions for small and micro entities only, with the latest relief extending certain fee deadlines falling on and between March 27 and September 29, 2020, to September 30, 2020. Other extensions of time and relief remains available to those who need it, on a case-by-case basis. The USPTO further clarified that all petitions to waive the fee for petitions to revive under 37 C.F.R. 1.17(m) must be filed by July 31, 2020.
Patents and Patent Applications
Other PTAB Deadlines
The Patent Notice instructs that for filings before the PTAB not otherwise covered above, individuals personally affected by the CORONAVIRUS outbreak should contact the PTAB directly at 571-272-9797 or e-mail the appropriate division:
All filing and payment deadlines not specifically amended by the USPTO should continue to be treated as unaltered and standing. While all USPTO offices remain closed to the public, the USPTO remains open for business, including for the filing of documents and payment of fees. In-person meetings, including hearings and examiner interviews, continue to be conducted virtually. We will continue to provide additional updates as the USPTO issues additional guidelines relating to the coronavirus.
Many foreign patent offices also continue to implement and amend their own special procedures and adjustments to respond to the coronavirus pandemic as the situation evolves.
The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.
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