USPTO Extends Two Month Priority Petition for COVID-19

Last updated June 16, 2020

On June 12, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) announced that it is extending the time period for petitioning for certain rights of priority or benefits in a patent application and waiving the associated petition fees. The relief extends the two-month time period for restoring the right of priority to a foreign application or benefit of a provisional application for any nonprovisional application due to be filed on or after March 27, 2020, but on or before July 30, 2020.

Generally, an application can claim the priority to or benefit of a prior-filed foreign or provisional application if the application seeking priority is filed within 12 months of the prior-filed application. If the 12-month deadline passes, an applicant may file the application within the two months following the deadline and request a restoration of the priority, provided that they file a petition stating that the delay was unintentional.

Given the extenuating circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the USPTO has extended the two-month period of petition for restoring certain priority rights if the delay was caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. For nonprovisional applications seeking priority to or benefit of a prior-filed foreign or provisional application and having a 12-month deadline falling between March 27, 2020 and July 30, 2020, the two-month period will be extended until July 31, 2020 and the petition fee will be waived.

In all circumstances, the petition must be accompanied by a statement affirming that the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak as defined in the USPTO’s notice of April 28, 2020.

The full text of the USPTO statement can be found here.

For more information relating to this announcement or to patent priority claims, please contact one of the authors listed below.

For additional information pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak, please visit CSG’s COVID-19 Resource Center.

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