Most Patent/Trademark Prosecution Dates Extendible – Some PTAB

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.  Today’s announcement is in addition to earlier announced accommodations.
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Extraordinary Situation May Extend Some Trial Schedules

Yesterday the USPTO issued guidance on the Coronavirus outbreak, explaining that it considered the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic to be an “extraordinary situation” within the meaning of 37 C.F.R.§ 1.183 and 37 C.F.R. 2.146 (trademarks).  The guidance waived revival fees for ex parte patent/trademark applications and patent reexamination matters that went abandoned as a result of missing a deadline.

The guidance did not address AIA Trial Proceedings.  The agency’s position that the pandemic is an “extraordinary situation,” however, is sure to result in party requests to extend 12-month PTAB trial schedules.
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