March 18, 2020
Brian Winterfeldt, David Rome

USPTO Operations During the COVID-19 Outbreak

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office continues its normal operations despite the COVID-19 outbreak. In a statement issued March 16, 2020, Director Iancu indicated that all statutory deadlines will remain in effect, including deadlines to file:

  • Statements of use for allowed intent-to-use applications
  • Declarations of use and applications to renew needed to maintain registrations;
  • Extensions of time to oppose or notices of opposition; and
  • Certain cancellation claims.

The Office is still accepting applications and all other ordinary submissions. In consideration of the outbreak, however, the Office is offering to waive fees for petitions to revive abandoned applications and petitions to the director to reinstate cancelled registrations, if the abandonment or cancellation resulted from lapses attributable to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We do not anticipate that the United States Patent and Trademark Office will suspend operations. The Office already has extensive infrastructure for supporting remote work, as many of its trademark staff and attorneys routinely work off site. Furthermore, the trademark operation is well along on its push to make all functions entirely electronic. Nearly all submissions are made through the Office’s various online portals. Communications with attorneys and owners are ordinarily conducted by phone or email. In response to the outbreak, the Office has moved its few in-person meetings to teleconferencing. Overall, there appears to be little reason for the Office to halt operations.

We are closely monitoring the effect of COVID-19 on trademark operations around the world and we will continue to keep you informed of any important developments that affect our clients. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or if you need additional trademark support in light of the current crisis. Our team has not been affected by the outbreak and we would be more than happy to step in where your teams or attorneys may need extra assistance due to the challenges this situation poses for all of us.

If you have any questions regarding this update or wish to discuss it in more detail, please contact any of the following Winterfeldt IP Group team members:

Brian Winterfeldt, 202-903-4422

David Rome,   847-757-3790

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