The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed significant hardships on many of our stakeholders. As a result, the USPTO has waived certain fees under existing authority, through the March 16, 2020 Notice, and has extended certain Trademark and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) deadlines twice under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), through the March 31, 2020 Notice and the April 28, 2020 Notice. These extensions will expire on May 31, 2020.
As businesses begin to reopen or resume operations, some stakeholders will continue to require relief, particularly small businesses and individuals. Under the CARES Act authority and its existing authority in Trademark and TTAB matters, the USPTO will direct relief to those who need it on a case-by-case basis, as described below.
- Applicants who were unable to submit a timely response or fee in response to an Office communication should file a petition to revive the application. See 37 CFR §§ 2.6(a)(15), 2.66.
- Applicants who missed the 36-month statutory deadline for filing a Statement of Use, and therefore their application has been abandoned, should use the TEAS “Petition to the Director” form. See 37 CFR § 2.146.
- Registrants who missed a statutory deadline, resulting in a cancelled/expired registration, or who were unable to submit a timely response or fee in response to an Office communication regarding a registration, should use the TEAS “Petition to the Director” form. See 37 CFR § 2.146.
In the interest of maintaining flexibility and options for our stakeholders, the USPTO will continue to 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.
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.
The USPTO will continue to evaluate the evolving situation around the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the USPTO’s operations and stakeholders.
For details on the latest relief, read the official notice on our website.