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COVID-19 and Trademark Deadlines: Don’t Delay!

Covid-19 trademark Columbus, OH

The Coronavirus pandemic has turned life upside down for most of the world, and has been especially difficult for small businesses and nonprofits. However, this hasn’t completely eliminated legal obligations and deadlines. I have said before, and I will say it again, I firmly believe that we will get through this. Many small businesses and nonprofits will find ways to pick back up and re-open their doors. Many of you have already found creative ways to transition to online sales. Small businesses and nonprofits are an essential part of the economy, and that will still be true on the other side of this pandemic. 

One of the many legal obligations that you may be tempted to set on the backburner (or may simply have forgotten about in the midst of the current crisis) are your trademark deadlines. The USPTO is not granting waivers of fees or extensions of time for most trademark related filings. These include:

  • Deadlines for filing statements of use or requesting an extension of time;
  • Deadlines for filing trademark renewals, including affidavits of continued use; and 
  • Time periods related to proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. 

So what should you do if your trademark application or registration is abandoned or canceled because you missed a deadline due to the Coronavirus? Fortunately, the USPTO is waiving the petition fee to revive the application or reinstate the registration. Despite this reprieve, petitions must be filed not later than two (2) months of the issue date of the notice of abandonment or cancellation. And even with the petition fee waived, you will still need to plan for the fees associated with the underlying filing (i.e., the statement of use or trademark renewal).

If you’ve put time, money, and effort into building a brand, don’t let COVID-19 destroy such a valuable asset. Even in these unprecedented times, legal deadlines still exist. 

If you need assistance maintaining your trademark application, renewing your trademark registrations, or monitoring your trademarks for infringement:

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