When an application gets approval from the US Patent and Trademark Office, the next step is for it to be published in what’s called the Official Gazette, which used to be an actual physical publication, but now it’s just an online publication. Every week, hundreds or thousands of approved trademark applications are published in this Official Gazette. The publication window lasts for 30 days and during those 30 days, an outside party can file either an opposition to the application, meaning that they’re contesting the application and want to start a dispute before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) over whether or not the application should be granted. Or the other party could file an extension of time to essentially extend that publication window and give them more time to potentially file an opposition in the near future. The extension(s) can last for up to 90 days. An extension essentially means that somebody has said essentially, hold on a moment, we might want to do something about that application or we might want to contact the applicant and try to work something out if we have a concern so we need more time.
And generally they will almost always file the extension request on the last day of publication. And if an opposition is filed, it will almost always be on the last day.
If you receive an extension, there’s really nothing that you can or need to do. You just need to wait out that period. It’s possible that during that period, the party that requested the extension contacts you and tries to seek a compromise or learn more about your product or services so they can investigate whether it is a real conflict or a potential or perceived conflict. So that’s what an extension of time to oppose does. It extends that publication window to make it longer and leaves open the possibility while the extension is running, that the opposition could still be filed.