The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has taken various actions in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. All USPTO offices have been closed to the public since March 16, 2020, though USPTO personnel continue to review filings with ongoing communication to applicants, petitioners, and other parties through remote means. Additionally, relying on inherent administrative powers to alleviate “extraordinary circumstances,” the USPTO has authorized the waiver of certain petition fees for those impacted by the coronavirus, as well the general waiver of the requirement for original, handwritten signatures on certain submissions. More action from the USPTO is expected in the coming days pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which grants additional “emergency relief authority” to the USPTO Director (and the Register of Copyrights) to temporarily “toll, waive, adjust, or modify, any timing deadline” established by law or federal regulation in order to mitigate the impact of disruption to regular business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: COVID-19 DevelopmentsWritten by John Malloy, III
As the Partner overseeing the Firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation and International Tradmark Portfolio groups, Mr. Malloy is Board Certified as an Expert in Intellectual Property Law and concentrates his practice on Trial and Appellate Litigation. He also focuses on International Portfolio Management, filing trademark applications and directing enforcement proceedings around the globe. Mr. Malloy taught for nearly a decade as an Adjunct Professor of Intellectual Property Law at St. Thomas University Law School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and his law degree from the University of Miami. During his tenure as the Chair of the International Trademark Association’s Model State Trademark Bill from 2003 to 2007, Mr. Malloy oversaw the passage of trademark legislation in a half dozen states and personally spear-headed the enactment of Florida’s present trademark statute, which became effective in 2007. In 2009 Mr. Malloy was named the Chairman of the DCBA Intellectual Property Committee.
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