Ordinarily, filing initial patent term extensions using the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) patent electronic filing systems is prohibited. See Legal Framework for Patent Electronic System, section B2, Item 4; MPEP 502.05. 37 CFR 1.183 provides that certain regulatory requirements can be suspended in an “extraordinary situation” when justice requires. Recently, COVID-19 has made an extraordinary impact on the functionality of modern society. Finding that the impact of COVID-19 is an “extraordinary situation” within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183, the USPTO waived the prohibition against filing initial patent term extensions under 37 CFR 1.740 or 37 CFR 1.790 using the USTPO patent electronic filing systems until further notice. Accordingly, as of May 29, 2020, patentees can electronically file initial patent term extensions under 37 CFR 1.740 or 37 CFR 1.790 until further notice. Note that certain information must be provided to be entitled to a filing date by so filing an initial patent term extension application.
For more information, read the USPTO’s Official Notice at https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/156-efiling-20200529.pdf.