Beginning December 3, 2022, trademark registration applicants will have three months to respond to any office action issued during an examination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This marks a reduction in time from six months to three months for applicants to respond to the USPTO.

The USPTO states it is undertaking these modified response times to decrease the time it takes to get a registration and to provide flexibility for applicants to request additional time to respond when the situation warrants.

On the second point, the USPTO says that it understands that there may be more complexity with certain application issues, and in that case more time might be required to gather the necessary information to provide a thorough response. To accommodate a response on these types of application issues, applicants may apply for a three-month extension for appeals, which includes an additional $125 fee. Take note that this extension request must be applied for before the initial three-month deadline expires and cannot be requested if a response has already been filed.

There will also be a shortening of response periods for post-registration office actions, but that will not take effect until next year. The same three-month window for an initial response time for post-registration issues will begin on October 7, 2023.

It is important to remember that any failure to meet a deadline will result in the USPTO abandoning your application, which means an applicant must either restart the application process (and repay all applicable fees) or file a petition to revive the application, which also comes with an additional fee.