The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has released guidelines to help trademark applicants and owners during the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
The guidelines indicate that the USPTO will waive the petition fees for revival of trademark applications and registrations that have been abandoned or canceled/expired due to an applicant or owner's inability to timely respond to a trademark office communication as a result of COVID-19. The petition must include a statement explaining how the failure to respond to the USPTO communication was due to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. The petitions must be filed not later than two months of the issue date of the notice of abandonment or cancellation. If no notice is received, the applicant or owner has six months from the date the electronic records system indicates that the application is abandoned or the registration is cancelled and/or expired.
When Extensions Will Not Apply
The USPTO has explicitly noted that no waivers or extensions of due dates or requirements set by statute will be granted. For trademarks this includes the 36-month deadlines to file a statement of use in a trademark application, deadlines for filing affidavits of continued use or excusable nonuse, deadlines for filing renewals and fees, and periods for filing opposition or cancellation proceedings.
This change demonstrates the USPTO's reluctance to change statutory deadlines in light of the global pandemic. Clients should remain aware of these statutory trademark deadlines that will not be extended by the USPTO.
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