Takeaway: If you failed to file a non-provisional U.S. application by your provisional application’s one-year deadline due to COVID-19, the USPTO has extended the time to claim priority to July 31, 2020 and is waiving the petition fee.
As of June 11, 2020, applicants who have filed a U.S. provisional patent application, or an earlier foreign patent application, and who have missed their one-year deadline to file for a U.S. non-provisional are in luck if they still want to claim the right of their earlier filing date.
Normally, applicants have an additional two months after their one-year deadline to claim the right of their earlier filing date with a petition fee. This recent USPTO initiative has now extended that right to July 31, 2020, unless the preexisting two-month period rule would provide a later deadline, in which the deadline would remain unchanged. Additionally, this initiative applies to:
Non-provisional utility applications seeking priority to foreign applications filed on or after March 27, 2019;
Non-provisional utility applications seeking benefit from provisional applications filed on or after March 27, 2019; and
- Non-provisional design applications seeking priority to foreign applications filed on or after September 27, 2019.
Applicants are required to submit a statement to the USPTO explaining that due to COVID-19 they were unable to file the U.S. non-provisional application in a timely manner.