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USPTO Further Extends Certain Patent Filing Deadlines

By Procopio Partner Bob Ramos

The Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicated that because “[i]nnovation and entrepreneurship will play a key role in our fight against this pandemic, and in the upcoming recovery of our country…the USPTO continues to assess measures to support the work of inventors and entrepreneurs during this crisis and beyond.” Accordingly, the Director has further extended several patent-related deadlines that would have been, or would be, due between March 27, 2020, and May 31, 2020.

As before, the length of the extension of the particular deadline in question will be “30 days from the initial date that it was due, provided that the filing is accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak.” The reasons for delay can include office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or documents, travel delays, personal or family illness, or any other situation that “materially interferes with timely filing or payment.”

The specific deadlines that can be extended include: Responses to Official Actions, Issue Fee Payments, Maintenance Fee Payments, Notice of Appeals, Appeal Briefs, Reply Briefs, and Requests for oral hearings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), Petitions to the Chief Judge; along with several types of replies to an Office notice issued during pre-examination processing.

If you believe that your patent rights may be impacted during the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, please contact us and we can assist you.

 

Bob Ramos is a leader of Procopio's Life Sciences practice and a member of Procopio's Intellectual Property team. He has over 20 years of combined Life Sciences IP experience in both private practice and the biotechnology industry related to worldwide patent and trademark acquisition and strategic counseling. Bob has assisted venture-backed startups, mid-sized companies, basic research Institutes, as well as large biopharmaceutical companies in need of extensive portfolio management in the biotechnology arts, including molecular biology, antibodies/peptibodies, protein therapeutics, cancer therapies, gene therapy, cellular immunotherapy, and nucleic acids; as well as next generation sequencing and modern genomics, including microfluidics, microarrays, bioinformatic and pharmacogenomic analysis for personalized medicine and companion diagnostics.