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Archived updates for Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Hurricane Emergency Trademark Mailing Procedures

On September 21, 2004, the United States Patent and Trademark Office designated the postal service interruption in the areas of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Puerto Rico that have been affected by a series of hurricanes starting with Hurricane Frances on September 3, 2004 as an emergency within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. §21(a). Threrefore, if a document cannot be filed through TEAS, trademark customers in the affected areas should follow 37 C.F.R. §2.195(e) by
(1) Promptly mail their correspondence to the USPTO when postal services resume; and

(2) Including a statement with the correspondence that "the correspondence would have been filed on (specify date) but for the interruption of the USPS due to severe weather conditions during the 2004 hurricane season."

The USPTO will consider paper correspondence submitted pursuant to 37 C.F.R. §2.195(e) as filed in the USPTO on the date the correspondence would have been mailed but for the USPS interruption caused by the hurricanes. However, this rule applies only if the correspondence address of record originates from an affected area and the post office was closed or the postal services suspended in that area on the specified date due to the hurricanes. As soon as all affected post offices return to normal operations, the USPTO will post updated information regarding this situation on the USPTO website.
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