How does coronavirus affect contracts and trademarks?
Coronavirus has crippled businesses and left others in a panic for their next paycheck. To the extent that time and resources permit, I encourage you instead to hunker down and continue to protect your brands and businesses. If you’re a service provider, review any “force majeure” and other clauses in your agreements dealing with postponements, cancellations and terminations. Be sure to abide by the terms and provisions listed in your contracts. If any amendments need to be made to agreements, communicate with the other party and make any necessary changes in WRITING! Think creatively to get through this crisis. Some examples of flexible thinking I’ve seen are gyms hosting workout sessions via videoconference; realtors hosting "open only virtually" houses; restaurants offering take-out specials; and of course manufacturers coming up with kits for disaster preparedness and anxiety relief. If you have a pending trademark application, you may even experience quicker than normal turn-around times. Since most Examining Attorneys at the Patent and Trademark Office also work remotely, they are churning through applications and Responses at normal or faster than normal speed. I was floored to receive a communication on Wednesday about a Response to an Office Action filed on Tuesday night! I will continue monitoring the USPTO for communications about any effects the COVID-19. Some companies and individuals have already tried to capitalize on the COVID 19 situation, which I will discuss in more detail in tomorrow's post about coronavirus trademarks. If you have questions about a new product, service, or trademark you’re thinking of offering, or experiencing issues with cancellations, please reach out and I will do my best to help you, or refer you to someone who can. Wishing you good health,