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USPTO COVID-19 Response Update

June 5, 2020

By: Deirdre E. Sanders

The USPTO announced that it has launched the COVID-19 Response Resource Center to provide improved access to USPTO initiatives, programs, and other helpful intellectual property-related information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

The resource center provides information on a number of topics affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including the USPTO’s “Patents 4 Partnerships” IP marketplace platform, the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program, trademark counterfeiting and consumer fraud, and international developments related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition, the USPTO stated on May 27, 2020: “In accordance with the temporary authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today further extended the time to file certain patent-related documents and to pay certain required fees.”

The USPTO is giving patent applicants some limited flexibility in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The flexibility includes providing deadline extensions and waivers of some petition fees for the revival of applications abandoned on or before June 30th, as well as a resource center for information.

Specifically, for small and micro entities, in certain cases, filings that would have been deemed timely if filed by June 1, 2020, will now be deemed timely if filed by July 1, 2020. For large entities, after May 31, 2020, relief will be available on a case-by-case basis, and requests for such relief can be submitted through a petition for an extension of time or a petition to revive. 

The USPTO also announced that it will extend the petition fee waiver for revival of applications that became abandoned on or before June 30, 2020, if accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment is due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Further, USPTO has also announced that it “considers the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak to be an ‘extraordinary situation’ within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183,” and it will permit patentees to file initial patent term extension applications that meet certain criteria via EFS-Web or Patent Center.

In addition, the USPTO is granting further relief for certain trademark-related fees and deadlines.

Click here to review the links to the full USPTO announcements.