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USPTO Deadline Extensions Give Flexibility During Crisis

April 07, 2020

Fenwick intellectual property partner Stuart Meyer talked to Law360 about the USPTO’s decision to extend some deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the coronavirus relief law was enacted, the USPTO had the ability to extend some trademark and patent deadlines that would normally be set by statute.

Meyer told Law360 that business objectives will guide whether a party utilizes these extensions, as a delay in obtaining a patent or trademark could disrupt plans for some companies, but could be a relief for others.

"I think you'll find lots of people who say 'thanks but no thanks' to the extensions, but there will also be lots of people who say 'thank goodness' and take advantage of them," Meyer said.

He noted that some companies might rush to get a patent secured quickly to use against their competitors, even during the crisis. Those companies will stick to an accelerated schedule if possible. However, Meyer said others could be facing a cash crunch during this time, and a delay in paying USPTO fees would be helpful.

The full article is available on Law360 (subscription required).