The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) 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.
“Inventors and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy, and we recognize that many of them are having difficulty as a result of the effects of COVID-19,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu.
“As a result, we are working to provide as much relief as possible to our stakeholders, consistent with our ability to maintain the USPTO’s fee-funded operations. We are especially mindful of the outsized impact on small businesses and independent inventors, and have provided additional relief for these groups. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure not only that inventors and entrepreneurs can weather the storm, but that they can hit the ground running once it passes.”
The USPTO has made operational adjustments to keep its employees and the public safe as it remains open for business. In-person meetings, such as hearings and examiner interviews, are being conducted virtually by phone and video until further notice.
The USPTO will continue to evaluate the evolving situation around COVID-19 and the impact on the USPTO’s operations and stakeholders.
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