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COVID-19 Patent Office Status and Updates

Mar 16, 2020 | Firm News

Patterson Thuente is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. The health and safety of our community are our top priority. The Patterson Thuente team has policies and systems in place that will enable us to continue to serve our clients. We are updating this page regularly to keep you informed with respect to ways in which patent offices around the world are responding to the situation and any assistance they are offering to their customers.

United States > USPTO

UPDATE: The USPTO has granted further relief for certain patent-related fees and deadlines. For small and micro entities, filings that would have been deemed timely filed by June 1, 2020 will now be deemed timely filed by July 1, 2020. For large entities, relief will be available on a case-by-case basis. Such requests can be submitted through a petition for extension of time or a petition to revive.

On June 1, the USPTO released a joint message with the Japan Patent Office. The message recognizes the significant negative impact that COVID-19 has had on the global economy and indicates that the USPTO and JPO will take a united stand in promptly establishing stable patent rights to support innovation. The message can be found here.

The USPTO has announced a COVID-19 prioritized examination pilot program for small and micro entities. The new pilot program will grant requests for prioritized examination to patent applications that qualify for small or micro entity status without payment of the typical fees associated with other prioritized examination. Under this new pilot program, the USPTO has indicated that it will endeavor to reach final disposition of applications in this program within six months if applicants respond promptly. To qualify, the claims of the application must cover a product or process that is subject to FDA approval for use in the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19.

The USPTO and EPO have released a joint message in support of inventors during these challenging times. The Offices indicated their desire to “stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the innovation community” and commitment to spare no effort to provide needed assistance. Assistance now being offered includes time extensions and flexibility in the form of video conferencing or postponement of hearings. The press release can be found here.

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