On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) issued a Notice of Extended Waiver of Patent-Related Timing Deadlines under the CARES Act (“Updated Notice”). The Notice also addresses other relief available to Patent Applicants and Patentees and supersedes the USPTO’s March 31, 2020 Patent-Related and Trademark-Related Notices and its March 16, 2020 Notice.As set forth on pages 2-3 of the Updated Notice, among other provisions, relief for the timing of filings and payments includes the following:
(1) CARES Act Relief in Patent Applications and Reexamination and Other Proceedings
- reply to an Office notice issued during pre-examination processing) by a small or micro entity;
- reply to an Office notice or action issued during examination or patent publication processing;
- issue fee;
- notice of appeal under 35 U.S.C. § 134 and 37 C.F.R. § 41.31;
- appeal brief under 37 C.F.R. § 41.37;
- reply brief under 37 C.F.R. § 41.41;
- appeal forwarding fee under 37 C.F.R. § 41.45;
- request for an oral hearing before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) under 37 C.F.R. § 41.47;
- response to a substitute examiner’s answer under 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(a)(2);
- amendment when reopening prosecution in response to, or request for rehearing of, a PTAB decision designated as including a new ground of rejection under 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b);
- maintenance fee, filed by a small or micro entity;
- request for rehearing of a PTAB decision under 37 C.F.R. § 41.52;
- request for rehearing of a PTAB decision under 37 C.F.R. §§ 41.125(c) or 41.127(d); or
- petition to the Chief Judge under 37 C.F.R. § 41.3
due between, and inclusive of both, March 27, 2020, and May 31, 2020, will be considered timely if filed on or before June 1, 2020, provided that the filing or payment is accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak as defined in subsection (b) below.
(b) A delay in filing or payment is due to the COVID-19 outbreak for the purposes of this notice if a practitioner, applicant, patent owner, petitioner, third-party requester, inventor, or other person associated with the filing or fee was personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including, without limitation, through office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delays, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances, such that the outbreak materially interfered with timely filing or payment.
Read about other relief available in the full Updated Notice found here.