There are now two patent reliefs for those affected by COVID-19:
- File a response 30 days late, without additional fee
- Revive a patent application that has been abandoned, without additional fee
Relief 1: File a response to the US Patent Office 30 days lateIf your patent application received a notice from the US Patent Office (USPTO) which requires a reply, such as responding to a rejection, you can now file the response up to 30 days late if you have been affected by COVID-19. The original due date must fall between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020. Whatever the original due date was, it is now extended 30 days without additional fee. Any fees that were due if you had filed on time are still due, but there will be no additional fees for filing 30 days late from the original due date. This 30 day extension can be used for:
- Response to Office Actions (patent rejection)
- Payment of Issuance Fees (patent approval)
- Payment of Maintenance Fees (patent renewal)
Relief 2: Revive a patent application that has been abandonedIf your patent application became abandoned for missing the deadline to respond to the US Patent Office (USPTO), you can request the USPTO revive your patent application without paying the usual $500 or $1,000 revival fee. You must request revival within 2 months from when the USPTO sends a letter notifying that your patent application has been abandoned.
Note: You must have been personally affected by COVID-19
To qualify for late filing or revival, you must have been personally affected by COVID-19. You cannot take advantage of the relief simply because COVID-19 exists. If you have not been affected by COVID-19, you must continue to meet all patent deadlines.
Note: Does not extend the due date to file a new patent application
The deadline to file a patent application has not been extended. This means you still need to timely file a patent application. For example, a non-provisional patent application must still be filed within 12 months of your provisional patent application filing. The extensions provided by USPTO apply to already filed applications which require reply to the USPTO.
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