Coronavirus Alerts and Updates

April 9th, 2020

Further to our G&B Firm Advisory of April 1, 2020, and in view of the rapidly-evolving situation regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, we hope you, your colleagues and loved ones continue to be unaffected by the outbreak; however, should you experience any disruption in operation that leaves you unable to communicate with us due to states of emergency in parts of the world (preventing you from timely providing us with instructions), please be assured that we will take all necessary steps to maintain pendency of your matters with us at minimal cost, in order to avoid abandonment (absent your instructions to the contrary).

G&B will continue to update you with respect to any additional announcements regarding this unprecedented crisis on our website at: http://www.gbpatent.com/resources/Coronavirus.
           
Our thoughts are with you during this uncertain time. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  We continue to remain at your service.

April 1st, 2020

USPTO Operations Update

Further to our G&B Firm Advisory of March 18, 2020, and in view of the rapidly-evolving situation in the U.S. regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, on March 31, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced, under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, extensions to the time allowed to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees.

For example, regarding patent application and reexamination proceedings, the due date for certain filings or procedures, such as office action responses, issue fees, appeal and reply briefs, maintenance fees, and certain matters before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), that was due between and inclusive of both March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020 will be extended 30 days from the initial date it was due, provided that the filing is accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Such a statement must assert that the person associated with the filing (such as the applicant, practitioner and/or inventor) was personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak including, without limitation, through office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delays, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances  such that the outbreak interfered materially with timely filing or payment. Such extensions do not apply to new patent application filing or priority due dates.  Similar relief within this same time period is provided for trademark applicants, registrants and parties to TTAB proceedings, including but not limited to Office Action responses, Statements of Use, Notices of Opposition, priority deadlines, and Declarations of Use/Renewals.

We hope you, your colleagues and loved ones are unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak; however, should you be unable to timely provide us with instructions to perform any necessary filings due to the COVID-19 outbreak, or if there is any other way G&B may be of assistance, please feel free to reach out to us.

While G&B will continue to update you with respect to any additional announcements or changes in policy at the USPTO on our website at: http://www.gbpatent.com/resources/Coronavirus, further public messaging from the USPTO regarding COVID-19 can be found at: http://www.uspto.gov/coronavirus.

Our thoughts are with you during this uncertain time, and please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  We continue to remain at your service.

March 18, 2020

G&B's Coronavirus Preparedness Update

Further to our firm Advisory of March 5, 2020, and in view of the rapidly evolving situation in the U.S. regarding the spread of COVID-19, we provide important updates to our emergency preparedness plan.

On Tuesday, March 17, we implemented our remote telework plan. With the exception of a few essential staff to handle tasks that require a physical presence, all of our employees are now working remotely. This decision was made with the goal of ensuring the health and safety of our employees and minimizing the spread of COVID-19 within our community. While in-person interactions will be limited during this period, our patent and trademark prosecution practices will continue to conduct business as usual with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") and our litigation practice will continue to participate fully in all aspects of court proceedings. Our attorneys remain readily available for video conferencing, and electronic and telephone communications to meet all of your needs and requests.

USPTO And Court Operations Update

To control the spread of COVID-19, the USPTO has banned public access to its facilities and has cancelled all in-person interviews and hearings with USPTO employees. The USPTO will instead conduct those interviews and hearings by video and/or telephone. 

            Importantly, USPTO operations will continue without interruption such that all USPTO due dates and statutory deadlines are not extended. This includes the timely filing of non-provisional patent applications claiming the benefit of a prior-filed foreign application or provisional application, continuation/divisional applications, and issue fee payments.

While deadlines are not extended, the USPTO will waive the petition fees to revive patent and trademark applications that are abandoned, terminated, or canceled/expired due to the effects of COVID-19. The petition must include a statement that the practitioner, applicant, or at least one inventor has been personally affected by the outbreak such that they were unable to file a timely reply and be filed within two months from the issue date of the abandonment, termination, cancellation/expiration notice.

While we will continue to update you with respect to any additional announcements or changes in policy at the USPTO, further public messaging from the USPTO regarding COVID-19 can be found at:  https://www.uspto.gov/coronavirus.

Most United States Federal Courts, including the Federal Circuit, have adopted similar procedures by restricting public access and delaying proceedings where possible. 
   
Ready to Assist

Our thoughts go out to all those who may be personally affected by this pandemic. We hope all continue to be safe and healthy and that your respective businesses remain strong. If there is any way G&B may be of assistance, or if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us as well. We remain at your service.

March 05, 2020

Firm Procedures to Assist Clients During the Coronavirus Crisis   

            In view of the recent international outbreak of coronavirus, we wanted to reassure all of our clients that the firm has taken the necessary steps to assure continuous and reliable operation in the face of unanticipated issues that may arise as a result of the virus. Our firm already has long established special procedures in place to address unexpected emergencies such as snowstorms and power outages, and remains prepared to implement such procedures to deal with the present crisis.

            Our firm has an extensive international practice, and our attorneys are very mobile, visiting clients in the United States and around the world routinely and frequently. We have thus taken internal steps to address how such travel may impact our staff, as well as any interruptions in client visits during this period.
 
            G&B has always monitored and continues to monitor developments that may impact our practice and our clients. To that end we track information provided by news outlets as well as information issued by the U.S. Government (e.g., Centers for Disease Control (CDC)) and other Federal agencies. We have always acted consistently with advisories issued by the government and will continue to do so in order to be respectful of the health of our clients, our attorneys and staff, while minimizing interruptions of service.

            During this period of concern our attorneys will not (unless there is an emergency) be visiting certain countries listed by the U.S. government as having a Level 2 or higher classification. Conversely, a number of clients have already cancelled visits to our offices, and we are working with them via video where possible.

Client Support Services
                 
            Our firm has always been highly computerized and our internal IT staff has now been augmented to address any additional issues which may unexpectedly arise as a result of the virus. Our attorneys and staff are accustomed to and equipped for working remotely and securely when the need arises, and we are ready to implement such remote work on a broader scale should it be required.

            Our IT infrastructure carefully monitors all operations and our systems have been reconfigured to the extent necessary to augment remote access where necessary under crisis circumstances. In addition to our normal cybersecurity procedures, twenty-four hour a day operability to respond to client needs worldwide (a key feature of the firm) will of course continue during this period. We understand that many clients have staffs that are working remotely during this period, and we look forward to working with our clients as seamlessly as possible.