Beginning June 16, 2020, the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) will accept petitions to advance initial examination of applications for marks used to identify qualifying COVID-19 medical products and services. Because the USPTO considers the effects of COVID-19 to be an “extraordinary situation” within the meaning of 37 C.F.R. § 2.148, the USPTO will waive the fee for such petitions.
An applicant must first file an application electronically through the Trademark Electronic Application System and then file a Petition to the Director under 37 C.F.R. § 2.146(a)(3) that includes the newly-assigned serial number for the application and seeks to have the Director exercise supervisory authority to advance the initial examination of the application out of its regular order. The petition must include a statement of facts, supported by an affidavit or declaration under 37 C.F.R. § 2.20, setting forth the applicant’s COVID-19 medical goods or services and an explanation of why the goods or services are a type that qualify for prioritized examination, including the section of the Code of Federal Regulations under which the goods are regulated.
It should be noted that all approved trademark applications will be published for opposition in the Trademark Official Gazette after which there is a 30-day period during which the public may file oppositions or extensions of time to oppose.