Due to the coronavirus pandemic, government agencies that handle intellectual property issues around the world are either closed or working short-staffed. As such, emergency policies related to intellectual property claims are being issued, such as the suspension of IP deadlines and altered rules for digital filings.
If you are in the process of filing for a trademark, copyright, or patent anywhere in the world, or perhaps filing for a renewal or appeal, it’s important to stay abreast of any changes so that you know what to expect. Here in the United States, applicants and IP holders can expect the following:
- Due to the national emergency, anyone who is unable to meet trademark-related deadlines between March 27th and April 30th may be entitled to a 30-day filing extension.
- Those affected by the COVID-19 crisis may also be entitled to a delay in payment for any fees owed.
- Patent filings and fees will be delayed for a month, provided the filing is accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The United States Copyright Office is also extending the deadlines for filings and fees, provided the individual or company includes a statement that the delay is coronavirus-related. These modifications are to remain in effect for 60 days following the issuance of the National Emergencies Act. The Copyright Office notes, however, that these modifications will not extend to “electronic submissions” unless it can be proven that the emergency prevented computer access.
While the USPTO and the Copyright Office both remain open during the pandemic, further delays may be experienced as staff members are telecommuting or dealing with illness. If you anticipate an issue with your filing or you want to know what to expect during this time, it’s best to talk with your attorney to ensure that all of your bases are covered and that you are indeed entitled to any exemptions or modifications.
If you don’t have an attorney and you need assistance, we invite you to contact our law office for help. We are available to meet with you via telephone or video conference to answer your questions and help you move forward with your intellectual property needs. To schedule an appointment, call 888-666-0062.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.