NOTE: A more recent post with specific details about extended deadlines is available at this link.
The newly-enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides patent and trademark applicants the opportunity for temporary relief from certain deadlines as more and more businesses face mandatory shutdowns due to effects of COVID-19.
In the United States, many filing deadlines are set by statute. Because of that, as of the date of this writing, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has not yet extended patent or trademark deadlines, as it did not have authority to do so. Section 12004 of the CARES Act gives the USPTO Director to toll, waive or modify statutory deadlines under the Patent Act, the Trademark Act, and the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.
The USPTO is now permitted to extend deadlines that fall between March 13, 2020 and May 12, 2020.
The Act also gives similar authority to the Register of Copyrights to extend copyright filing deadlines.
Note that no deadlines are actually extended yet. We expect the USPTO and Copyright Office to act on this quickly. IP Spotlight will post details of any specific deadline extensions when available.