Please find here updates from the United States Patent and Trademark Office during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
USPTO answers frequently asked questions on CARES Act relief
The USPTO has released a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers for patent and trademark filers regarding the USPTO’s previously announced extension of certain patent and trademark-related timing deadlines under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. To access these FAQs, please go to the Extension of Deadlines under the CARES Act FAQs on the Patents and Trademarks webpages.
USPTO announces extension of certain patent and trademark-related timing deadlines under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced extensions to the time allowed to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees. These actions are an exercise of temporary authority provided to the USPTO by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed by President Trump on March 27. Read the press release for more information.
USPTO waives original handwritten signature requirement
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) considers the effects of COVID-19 to be an "extraordinary situation" within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183 for affected patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners. Therefore, the USPTO is waiving the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) for an original handwritten signature for certain correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and certain payments by credit card. The Office notes that the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) are the only USPTO requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures, and the USPTO has no other requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures. Read more details in the official notice on our website.
Relief for USPTO customers affected by COVID-19
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) considers the effects of coronavirus to be an "extraordinary situation" within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183 and 37 CFR 2.146 for affected patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners. Therefore, the USPTO is waiving petition fees in certain situations for customers impacted by the coronavirus. This notice does not grant waivers or extensions of dates or requirements set by statute. Read more details in the official notice on our website.
USPTO offices closed to the public
Out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of the public and USPTO employees, all USPTO offices will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. USPTO offices will remain open for employees, contractors, and those with access badges. Unless otherwise notified, USPTO operations will continue without interruption. Patent and trademark application deadlines and other deadlines are not extended. Those with official business with the USPTO should reach out to their points of contact with any questions or through the CONTACT US link. Thank you for your cooperation. We regret any inconvenience.
The events page on USPTO.gov is the best place to find an up-to-date list of upcoming USPTO events. If an event will be postponed or canceled, we will update the listing to reflect the change.
Interviews, oral hearings and in-person meetings
Until further notice, examiner and examining attorney interviews, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) oral hearings, and other similar in-person meetings with parties and stakeholders scheduled to take place at USPTO offices on or after Friday, March 13, 2020 will be conducted remotely by video or telephone. Parties will receive further instructions on how to participate by video or telephone in advance of the interview, hearing, or meeting.
If you have any questions, please contact the following:
- For patent examiner interviews, please contact the examiner or the examiner’s supervisor (SPE) directly. Additionally, if you have any questions about telephonic or video interviews in general or are unable to reach the examiner or SPE with respect to a particular interview, please email: ExaminerInterviewPractice@uspto.gov
- For trademark examining attorney interviews, please contact the managing attorney.
- For PTAB oral hearings, please contact PTABHearings@uspto.gov or call 571-272-9797.
- For TTAB oral hearings, please contact TTABHearings@uspto.gov or call 571-272-8500.
- For other in-person meetings, please contact your USPTO point of contact for that meeting.