The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically transformed the operations of many businesses and some have responded by altering their ordinary production operations to fill the demand for personal protective equipment (“PPE”). As a result, the United States Patent and Trademark Organization (“USPTO”) has seen an increase in trademark applications for COVID-19-related medical goods and services. In response, the USPTO has made it possible for applicants to expedite the agency examination period by up to two (2) months. Businesses that qualify for prioritized examination of their PPE trademark should act to take the necessary steps to secure federal protection.
Who is eligible for prioritized examination?
The USPTO has categorized the COVID-19 outbreak to be an “extraordinary situation” and is allowing prioritized examination for the following qualifying COVID-19 medical goods and services:
- Pharmaceutical products or medical devices, such as diagnostic tests, ventilators, and PPE, including surgical masks, face shields, gowns and gloves, that prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure COVID-19 and are subject to approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”); and
- Medical services or medical research services for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment of, or cure for, COVID-19.
Typically, the USPTO examines applications in the order that they are received. However, PPE trademark applicants that qualify for prioritized examination should request expedited review of their respective applications.
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Scheduling a free consultation with Klein Moynihan Turco is a great place to start.
Prioritized PPE Trademark Application Process
PPE trademark applicants that qualify for prioritized examination must first file a standard application and then file a petition with the USPTO Director (under 37 CFR § 2.146(a)(3)) to have the Director advance the application on to an expedited examination process. “The petition must include a statement of facts, supported by an affidavit or declaration under 37 CFR § 2.20, setting forth the applicant’s COVID-19 medical goods or services and an explanation of why the goods or services are of a type that qualify for prioritized examination . . . .” If the petition is granted, the application will be assigned to a USPTO examining attorney for immediate review, shaving approximately two (2) months off the standard examination process. If there are no objections, the application will proceed to the regular thirty (30) day publication period for public opposition. Currently, the USPTO has waived all fees associated with filing petitions with the Director.
If you need assistance with filing a PPE trademark application with the USPTO, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (212) 246-0900.
The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.
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