When entrepreneurs technology start up’s and other brand owners begin to file a federal trademark application in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to protect the brand name or a logo or a slogan trademark deadlines become an important part of the record keeping and compliance process.
Trademark Deadlines in Federal Trademark Applications
Deadlines in the USPTO can be unforgiving. For example, When an office action issues in connection with the federal trademark application, the trademark applicant has exactly six (6) months from the date of issuance of the office action to file a response in the USPTO. This trademark deadline is articulated in office actions in bold capitalized language:
STRICT DEADLINE TO RESPOND TO THIS LETTER
TO AVOID ABANDONMENT OF APPLICANT’S TRADEMARK APPLICATION, THE USPTO MUST RECEIVE APPLICANT’S COMPLETE RESPONSE TO THIS LETTER WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF THE ISSUE/MAILING DATE BELOW.”
Under the USPTO rules, the trademark deadline generally expires at 11:59 PM Eastern Time, regardless of which state or country, or which time zone, the trademark applicant is in. For example, if a federal application belong to a business in Los Angeles, California, and is facing a trademark deadline to respond to an office action on June 30, 2020, that response must be filed in the USPTO on or before 8:59 PM Pacific Time (11:59 PM Easter Time) on June 30, 2020 to be deemed within the trademark deadline. Otherwise, it is deemed late, and in the case of an office action, the application will enter the abandonment phase.
Trademark Deadlines in Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
Similarly, trademark deadlines in the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) work the same way. In the TTAB, if an opposition or cancellation is filed, the trademark owner has forty (40) calendar days from the date of filing to file its response or answer, due before 11:59 PM Easter Time of the last date of the trademark deadline.
In a complex subject matter such as trademark law, even simple items such as calculating trademark deadlines and other docketing can prove difficult for entrepreneurs, trademark owners, and technology startups navigating the rules of the USPTO. Consultation with an experienced trademark attorney in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, or other major business hubs in California or nationwide can help brand owners calculate deadlines and timelines in the USPTO with confidence.