By: Mark R. Malek
In a recent release the United States Patent and Trademark Office has announced accommodations for patent and trademark owners and applicants affected by the recent tsunami in Japan. For patent applicants for which a response to an action by the PTO has been issued which requires a response, the action will be withdrawn and reissued. This will provide the applicant with more than the statutory period allowed for reply. Similarly, for patentees that are unable to timely pay their maintenance fees, a six month grace period will be provided so that the patent will not go abandoned.
For trademark applicants and owners, the same deal applies. If there is an outstanding action, or something that requires a response, the action will, at the applicant’s request, be withdrawn and reissued so that the applicant will have a bit more time to respond without their trademark application going abandoned. If a trademark application has gone abandoned, the Trademark Office will waive the petition fee associated with reviving the patent application.
My prayers go out to the victims of the tsunami and I hope for a speedy recovery for Japan.