USPTO Deadline Extensions Due to COVID-19

April 2, 2020

Janice A. Vatland PhD, John L. Welch

This alert is part of Wolf Greenfield's COVID-19 Resource Center. To access the full resource center, click here.

On March 31, 2020, the USPTO announced the availability of 30-day extensions of time for filing certain patent- and trademark-related documents and for paying certain required fees. The extensions of time are available for these certain filings and payments with a deadline falling between March 27 and April 30, 2020. The USPTO was authorized to take this action under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was signed into law last week by the President.


HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: 

The 30-day extensions are not automatically applied or issued by the USPTO. As the USPTO remains open for the filing of documents and fees, these extensions of time are available only if the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A delay is due to the COVID-19 outbreak if someone associated with the filing or payment was personally affected by the outbreak through reasons such as office closure, cash flow interruption, inaccessibility of files, travel delay, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances that materially interfered with timely filing or payment. A statement that the delay in the filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak must be submitted with the filing or payment in order to qualify for the extension of time. 

The available relief only applies to certain filings or fees. 

For patents, the 30-day extension of time is available for the following filings and fees, among others:

  • Response to a Notice issued during pre-examination processing for a small or micro entity
  • Response to an Office Action, including a Notice of Appeal
  • Issue fee
  • Appeal or Reply Brief
  • Appeal forwarding fee
  • Maintenance fee for a small or micro entity
For trademarks, the 30-day extension of time is available for the following filings, among others:

  • Response to an Office Action, including a Notice of Appeal
  • Statement of use
  • Request for Extension of Time to File a Statement of Use
  • Notice of Opposition or Request for Extension of Time to file a Notice of Opposition
  • Section 8 Declaration of Use
  • Section 9 Application for Renewal

Requests for an extension of a deadline for certain filings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board may also be made when the COVID-19 outbreak has interfered with the ability to timely file.

Finally, in addition to the relief provided through the possible extensions of time, please be aware the USPTO has previously waived certain fees for revival or reinstatement due to abandonment because of the inability to timely reply due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Wolf Greenfield is fully operational, and we are here to help you continue to meet original deadlines. However, please contact us should you believe you need the accommodations available through the USPTO due to the COVID-19 outbreak so we can assess whether or not you qualify and help you take the appropriate actions. 

Wolf Greenfield will keep you apprised of any additional changes that may impact you.