The USPTO Offers Relief to Those Impacted by Russian Invasion in Ukraine
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) published an Official Gazette Notice announcing that the effects of the Russian invasion in Ukraine are considered to be an “extraordinary situation” under 37 CFR § 1.183, § 2.146(a)(5), and § 2.148, in which case the Director is authorized to suspend or waive any requirement of the regulations that is not a requirement of statute.
As set forth in the Official Gazette Notice, the USPTO is providing various forms of relief for certain patent- and trademark-related correspondences. Such relief includes, for example, restarting the time period for reply for certain Office communications and waiving certain fees. The need for such relief must be due to the effects of the Russian invasion in Ukraine and, in many cases, is available only for applications or registrations with a correspondence or owner address in Ukraine. Each of the forms of relief also has other requirements. Notably, the impact of the sanctions issued by the United States as a result of the invasion, as distinguished from the effects of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, is not considered to be an “extraordinary situation,” and those impacted by the sanctions are not eligible for such relief.
The Official Gazette Notice, which is available here, was published on July 26, 2022. The relief set forth in the Official Gazette Notice will only be available for a limited time, but the USPTO may consider extending the relief if future circumstances warrant.