Washington, D.C., May 5 - Considering the COVID-19 outbreak to be an "extraordinary situation" within the meaning of 3 7 CFR 1.183, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will permit the filing of plant patent applications and follow-on documents via USPTO patent electronic filing systems (EFS-Web or Patent Center). Previously, such filings have been excluded from the online application and follow-on procedures according to 35 U.S.C. 161 of the Legal Framework for Patent Electronic System. The measure is introduced to provide further relief for plant breeders seeking plant patent protection in the US.
The respective notice published on the USPTO website reads: "Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, any prohibition against filing plant patent applications and follow-on documents via USPTO patent electronic filing systems is hereby waived on a temporary basis until further notice".
The waiver is temporary and is effective only until the USPTO provides further notice. Such notice may take place by publication in the Official Gazette or Federal Register or on the USPTO's website. The USPTO is continuing its efforts to modify Patent Center, the new electronic filing and retrieval system, so that plant patent applications can be filed electronically on a permanent basis.
Learn more: USPTO.gov