The USPTO Extends Certain Trademark Deadlines Amid COVID-19 Disruptions
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) announced earlier this week a thirty-day extension of certain trademark deadlines due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The extension applies broadly to trademark deadlines that fall between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020, including, in particular:
- Responses to office actions, including notices of appeal from a final refusal;
- Statements of use or requests to extend the time to file a statement of use;
- Notices of opposition or requests to extend the time to file a notice of opposition;
- Priority filings;
- Transformations of international registration into a national trademark application;
- Affidavits of use or excusable nonuse; and
- Renewal applications.
To be eligible for the extension, the eventual filing must be accompanied by a statement that the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak—meaning, someone involved in the filing was “personally affected” through, for example, “office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delay, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances” that materially interfered with or prevented the timely filing and/or payment of any associated fees. The deadline will be extended thirty days from the initial due date in these circumstances, providing much-needed relief to the numerous businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Notably, the extension is not available for filings or payments due in matters pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”). However, if more time is required, parties may seek extensions or reopenings of time, as appropriate, in accordance with the TTAB’s normal procedures.
The full text of the USPTO’s official notice may be read here. As noted, the USPTO remains open for business and is continuing to evaluate the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on the USPTO’s operations.