by Karin Cao (New York)

On April 12, 2021, the USPTO issued an alert announcing that certain circumstances related to COVID-19 may excuse nonuse of a trademark or service mark for the purposes of Section 8 and Section 71 maintenance filings. Specifically, if COVID-19 has directly affected the trademark holder and/or their business, preventing them from using their trademark, they may ask to be temporarily excused from providing proof of use. In order to be excused from complying with the ordinary use requirements, a trademark owner must provide a detailed statement explaining the following when filing their Section 8 or Section 71 declaration:

• How COVID-19 has affected them and/or their business, and caused temporary stoppage in the use of their trademark;
• When their trademark was last used;
• When do they expect to resume use of their trademark; and
• What steps are being taken to resume use of their trademark

We encourage trademark holders who believe that these special circumstances apply to them to consult with their attorney to more thoroughly understand the requirements of excusable nonuse. Should you require assistance navigating the pandemic rule changes, please contact us at or 212-840-8300.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Natter & Associates, P.C., nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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