Trademarks and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) FAQs: Extension of Deadlines under the CARES Act (published April 6)

Trademarks and TTAB Joint FAQs

Question 1: How do I take advantage of the 30-day extension of time for certain Trademark- and TTAB-related deadlines?

If an eligible document or fee was or is due between (and inclusive of) March 27, 2020, and April 30, 2020, the filing will be considered timely if made within 30 days of the original due date, provided that the filing is accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak. See Notice of Waiver of Trademark-Related Timing Deadlines under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Question 2: Does the statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak need to be verified or in the form of a declaration or affidavit?

No, the statement need not be verified or provided in affidavit or declaration form. The statement may be provided in the relevant TEAS or ESTTA form or included in the document being filed. People providing such statements to the Office are reminded that they constitute a certification under 37 CFR § 11.18(b) and that violations of 37 CFR § 11.18(b) may be subject to sanctions pursuant to 37 CFR §§ 11.18(c) and (d).

Question 3: What is the standard for determining whether the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

A delay in filing or payment is due to the COVID-19 outbreak if the outbreak materially interfered with timely filing or payment.

Question 4: What circumstances qualify as materially interfering with timely filing or payment?

Circumstances that qualify as materially interfering with timely filing or payment include, without limitation, office closures, cash flow interruptions, lack of access to files or other materials, travel delays, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances.

Question 5: Who must have been affected in order to take advantage of the 30-day extension of time?

The person affected by the outbreak may be a practitioner, applicant, registrant, or other person associated with the filing or fee.

Question 6: How do I determine my new Trademark or TTAB filing deadline?

You can determine your new filing deadline by adding 30 calendar days to your original filing deadline if the original due date was between (and inclusive of) March 27, 2020, and April 30, 2020. If the new deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a federal holiday, your new filing deadline will be the next business day. 

Question 7: Will the USPTO extend the CARES Act relief beyond April 30?

The USPTO will continue to evaluate the evolving situation around COVID-19 and the impact on the USPTO’s operations and stakeholders. If the USPTO extends the CARES Act relief, the USPTO will provide timely notice.

Question 8: Will these FAQs be modified?

The USPTO will continue to evaluate the evolving situation and will update these FAQs as needed.


Trademarks-specific FAQs

Question 9: What Trademark filings are eligible for the 30-day extension of time if the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

The following filings are eligible for the 30-day extension of time:

  • response to an Office action, including a notice of appeal from a final refusal under 15 U.S.C. § 1062(b) and 37 C.F.R. §§ 2.62(a) and 2.141(a)
  • statement of use or request for extension of time to file a statement of use under 15 U.S.C. § 1051(d) and 37 C.F.R. §§ 2.88(a) and 2.89(a)
  • priority filing basis under 15 U.S.C. § 1126(d)(l) and 37 C.F.R. § 2.34(a)(4)(i)
  • priority filing basis under 15 U.S.C. § 1141g and 37 C.F.R. § 7.27(c)
  • transformation of an extension of protection to the United States into a U.S. application under 15 U.S.C. § 1141j(c) and 37 C.F.R. § 7.31(a)
  • affidavit of use or excusable nonuse under 15 U.S.C. § 1058(a) and 37 C.F.R. § 2.160(a)
  • renewal application under 15 U.S.C. § 1059(a) and 37 C.F.R. § 2.182 
  • affidavit of use or excusable nonuse under 15 U.S.C. § 1141k(a) and 37 C.F.R. § 7.36(b)

Question 10: Will TEAS accept a filing made under the CARES Act extension?

Yes. TEAS will accept your filing. Locate the TEAS form for the filing you need to make, enter the required information for the filing, and add a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the “Miscellaneous Statement” field of the form you are filing. Contact TEAS@uspto.gov if you have questions about how to submit the filing.

Question 11: Is the USPTO open for filing Trademark documents and fees even though its offices are closed to the public?

Yes, the USPTO is open for the filing of Trademark documents and fees. Use TEAS for all Trademark application and post-registration filings. For more information, see the mandatory electronic filing webpage.

Question 12: Has the USPTO provided any other relief for Trademark filers in view of the COVID-19 outbreak?

Yes. For Trademark applications that were abandoned and registrations that were canceled/expired due to an inability to timely respond to a Trademark-related Office communication as a result of the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, the USPTO waived the petition fee to revive the abandoned application or reinstate the canceled/expired registration.

For abandoned applications, the TEAS Petition to Revive Abandoned Application - Failure to Respond Timely to Office Action form or Petition to Revive Abandoned Application - Failure to File Timely Statement of Use or Extension Request form should be used. The first of these two forms should be used to indicate that a notice of appeal to the TTAB from a final Office action is also being filed. For canceled/expired registrations, the TEAS Petition to Director form should be used. 

In all cases, the petition must include a statement explaining how the failure to respond to the Office communication was due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The petition must be filed not later than two months after the issue date of the notice of abandonment or cancellation. 37 CFR §§ 2.66(a)(l), 2.146(d)(l). If the applicant or registrant did not receive a notice of abandonment or cancellation, the petition must be filed not later than six months after the date the Trademark electronic records system indicates that the application is abandoned or the registration is canceled/expired. 37 CFR §§ 2.66(a)(2), 2.146(d)(2).

For more information, see the Office’s March 16, 2020, Relief Available to Patent and Trademark Applicants, Patentees, and Trademark Owners Affected by the Coronavirus Outbreak notice.

Question 13: If I have a question about CARES Act extensions, whom do I contact?

The USPTO welcomes inquiries regarding this notice:

  • Send an email to: TMPolicy@uspto.gov
  • If email submission is not feasible, please call the Trademark Office of Petitions at 571-272-8950.


TTAB-specific FAQs

Question 14: What TTAB deadlines are eligible for the 30-day extension of time if the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

The deadlines for the following TTAB filings are eligible for the 30-day extension of time:

  • a notice of appeal from a final refusal under 15 U.S.C. § 1062(b) and 37 C.F.R. § 2.62(a)
  • a notice of opposition or request for extension of time to file a notice of opposition under 15 U.S.C. § 1063(a) and 37 C.F.R. §§ 2.101(c) and § 2.102(a)

For all other situations where the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented or interfered with a filing before the Board, you can make a request (in ex parte appeals) or file a motion (for trial cases) for an extension or reopening of time, as appropriate.

Question 15: Will ESTTA accept a filing made under the CARES Act extension?

Yes. ESTTA will accept your filing. Locate the ESTTA form you need to file, enter the required information for the filing, add any necessary attachment, and add a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the attachment or appropriate field of the form you are filing. Contact TTABInfo@uspto.gov if you have questions about how to submit the filing.

Question 16: Is the USPTO open for filing TTAB documents and fees even though its offices are closed to the public?

Yes, the USPTO is open for the filing of TTAB documents and fees. TTAB judges, interlocutory attorneys, and paralegals are teleworking. Your TTAB electronic filings are being processed by ESTTA, and TTAB correspondence to you is being sent electronically by email. To ensure receipt of electronic communications from the Board, make sure your application or registration includes an email address that can be used for correspondence.

Question 17: What do I need to do to obtain an extension for a TTAB filing?

Filing through ESTTA is required. See TTAB information on mandatory electronic filing. Include a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Question 18: Will the TTAB grant a final 60-day extension of time to oppose because of the COVID-19 outbreak?

The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak are considered good cause in support of a second extension of time to oppose, if the first extension was a 30-day extension of time to oppose, or in support of an initial extension of 90 days to oppose, when a longer initial extension is desired. The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak also are considered extraordinary circumstances in support of the final 60-day extension of time to oppose. Fees for an extension requiring a showing of good cause or extraordinary circumstances are still required, even though the filing may be made later than when it would otherwise be due, if the delay in filing is due to the COVID-19 outbreak. When specifying the good cause or extraordinary circumstances, the statement that the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak can be included in the “other” basis for the extension.

Question 19: If I have a question about CARES Act extensions, whom do I contact?

The USPTO welcomes inquiries regarding this notice:

  • Send an email to: TTABInfo@uspto.gov.
  • If email submission is not feasible, please call the TTAB at 571-272-8500.