USPTO to Shorten Deadline to Respond to Trademark Office Actions to Three (3) Months Effective December 3, 2022
Friday, November 11, 2022

U.S. trademark practitioners will no longer have a six-month window to respond to Office Actions issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on certain pending trademark applications.  

As of DECEMBER 3, 2022, the time in which an applicant must respond to an Office Action will be cut in half, from six months to three. As a result of the new rule, trademark practitioners will need to timely report the Actions in order to allow their clients sufficient time to address any questions and provide instructions.  When reporting Official Actions issued on or after December 3, 2022, practitioners are well-advised to alert their clients to the new, shortened deadline and to request prompt instructions for responding. Deadline docketing procedures will need to be adjusted to account for the new timing for Office Action responses. 

In the event that it is not possible to file a response within the new three-month term, an additional three month extension can be requested; however, all extensions will incur an Official Fee of $125.  Failure to either respond within the initial three-month term or request an extension will result in abandonment of the application.  

Exceptions

For now, the new three-month response period applies only to Official Actions issued in connection with pending trademark applications based on use, intent to use, or foreign priority.  For all post-registration Office Actions, the three month response deadline will become effective in October 2023. As of now, there is no word on whether the response deadlines for trademark applications filed under the Madrid Protocol Section 66(a) will be affected. 

A summary of the new rule is as follows:

Effective December 3, 2022 

Applies to Trademark Applications Based on:

  • Use in commerce Section 1(a)

  • Intent to Use Section 1(b)

  • Foreign Application Section 44(d)

  • Foreign Registration Section 44(e)

Effective October 2023

Applies to all Post-Registration Actions

No Change

Applies to applications filed under Madrid Protocol Section 66(a)

 

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