By Courtney A. H. Thompson and Jacob M. Abdo
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) calls for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to toll, waive, adjust or modify deadlines for certain patent and trademark-related filings during the COVID-19 outbreak. Deadlines between March 27 and April 30 have been extended 30 days for delays caused by the outbreak. Eligible filings include responses to Office action, statements of use, notices of opposition, affidavits of use or excusable nonuse, and others. Delay is deemed excusable if the filer or attorney or their family is “personally affected” by the outbreak, such that it “materially interfered” with their ability to meet the deadline. This may include illness, delay in ability to meet deadlines caused by office closure, cash-flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files and other circumstances. The extension is a welcomed relief for businesses experiencing disruption during the COVID-19 outbreak.
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