On April 28, 2020 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) further extended the time to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees, which otherwise would have been due between March 27 and May 31. The new deadline is June 1, 2020. This is in addition to the prior extension the USPTO had announced on March 31, 2020. Such an extension will be allowed if they are accompanied by a statement that the filing delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak. More information can be found at the USPTO website here.
The Federal Government through the Small Business Administration has several relief options for businesses, and the self employed.
The first is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities, however, 75% of the money must be used for payrool in order to get forgiveness of the loan. The following entities affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be eligible to apply for the PPP:
- Any small business concern that meets SBA’s size standards (either the industry based sized standard or the alternative size standard);
- Any business, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organization, or Tribal business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act) with the greater of:
- 500 employees, or
- that meets the SBA industry size standard if more than 500;
- Any business with a NAICS Code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs less than 500 per location; and
- Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons.
More information on the PPP can be found here.
The second is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDLEA). small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries. More information on the EIDLEA can be found here.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is closed to the public until further notice. However, USPTO operations will continue without interruption. Also, patent and trademark deadlines are NOT extended. I am still doing work for my clients, and taking on new matters for new clients, and existing clients.
For more information about COVID 19 and the USPTO please go here.
I will be attending the Inventors Association of Connecticut (IACT) Holiday Party this Sunday, Dec 22, 2019 at Fairfield Craft Ales, located in Stratford. It will be great fun seeing local inventors at this festive time of the year. The party is for members of IACT, if you are interested, please join IACT. More information on joining IACT can be found here .
I will be attending the Entrepreneurship Foundation next event tomorrow which will be the 23rd Connecticut Business Conference and Competition. The event will be held on December 6, 2019 at Gateway College, Room N100, New Haven CT. There will be $20,000 in startup grants and $5,000 in startup services. The event will have A. BUSINESS CONCEPT ELEVATOR PITCH; B. GLOBAL STUDENT ENTREPRENEUR AWARD; C. INNOVATION CHALLENGE; and D. DESIGNER and DEVELOPER COMPETITIONS and EXHIBITIONS. More information can be found here.
Last week, I attended the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Trademark Boot Camp 2019. I like to take these refresher courses on intellectual property to make sure I stay up to-date on the ever changing legal landscape of intellectual property so I can continue to provide the best patent, trademark, and copyright legal services to my clients. The 2-day AIPLA Trademark Boot Camp 2019 took place June 6-7 at the AIPLA headquarters in Arlington, VA and covered the basics of trademark application filing, searching, appeals, oppositions, and cancellations. More information can be found here.
Policymakers, practitioners, and business owners interested in learning about policies and strategies to more effectively combat counterfeit goods will want to attend this free, all-day program organized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the McCarthy Institute on June 6, 2019. It will bring together more than two dozen experts in the fields of brand protection and anti-counterfeiting, who will take an in-depth look at such topics as:
- Fighting counterfeits in a global market
- Utilizing new technologies to protect brands
- Enlisting allies in the fight against counterfeiting
- Consumer protection and counterfeits
- What government can do to help
Featured speakers will include Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu, and other USPTO executives.
Register here. There is no charge to attend the program, but registration is on a first-come basis. Please register in advance as space is limited, and there will be limited ability to accommodate walk-in registrations.
This program will be available for viewing remotely via LiveStream. No registration is required.
Full program agenda is available in .docx format.
The USPTO has issued new guidelines regarding cannabis-derived goods and services. The guidelines were issued on May 2, 2019 and can be found here. The new guidelines explain that the 2018 Farm Bill exempts hemp, which is defined as cannabis plants and derivatives such as CBD that contain no more than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis.
Therefore, for trademark applications that identify goods and or services encompassing cannabis or CBD, the 2018 Farm Bill probably removes the CSA as a ground for refusal of the application so long as: (1) the good and/or services are derived from help; (2) The identification of goods and/or services specify that the hemp products contain less than 0.3% THC; and (3) the application was filed on or after Dec 20, 2018, except for prior filed application, the applicants have the option of amending the filing date and filing basis of the application to over the CSA as a ground of refusal.
However, be aware that hemp related goods and/or services may still raise legal issues under other laws include the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).
I plan to attend the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) trademark boot camp in June of 2019. This should be a good opportunity to stay up to date on my trademark practice, meet fellow trademark lawyers, and explore Arlington, Virginia. I hope to see some familiar faces this year!