USPTO Announces Extension of Certain Patent and Trademark-related Deadlines

April 8, 2020

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued official Notices in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, granting 30-day extensions for certain specifically identified patent and trademark deadlines falling between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020. Full lists of the specific actions are available in the full texts of the Patent Notice and the Trademark Notice.

The Notices indicate that most deadlines from March 27, 2020, to April 30, 2020, are eligible for a no-fee, 30-day extension. To utilize the extension, Applicants are required to make a statement upon filing that the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak and some party involved with the prosecution was personally affected. The Notice broadly defines “personally affected” to include office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files, travel delays, family illnesses, and other non-listed reasons.

Notably, the Notices do not include an extension for original filing deadlines, such as national stage entry deadlines, deadlines for the conversion of a provisional application to a non-provisional application, etc. Also, we believe that utilizing the extension may reduce the patent term adjustment period.

Even though COVID-19 is significantly affecting the United States, both our office and the USPTO remain fully operational. With the exception of a few staff members to handle tasks that require a physical presence, all of our staff are working remotely. During this time, we ask that all communications be sent to us electronically. In cases where physical mail is required, please scan and send the contents thereof electronically as well.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or we can provide any assistance.