COVID-19 Intellectual Property

Patent/Trademark Office Information

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Patent and Trademark Offices around the world are announcing special measures to take account of likely business disruption, not only to their own operations but also to those of their customers. This page is intended to provide our clients with a summary of the current measures that have been announced. However, due to the generality of these measures and the rapid pace at which things are changing, we would recommend that where possible you continue to provide instructions in the usual way observing the normal deadlines. We will keep you updated on further developments and we are ready to answer your questions in relation to any specific cases of concern.

 

  

Major Countries Changing PTO Procedures

United States
The USPTO has announced an extension of most trademark deadlines that fall between March 27, 2020, and May 31, 2020, (dates inclusive) until June 1, 2020.  Extended deadlines including Office Action responses, Statements of Use, Declarations under Sections 8 & 15, and Renewals. The USPTO has also announced an extension of most patent deadlines that fall between March 27, 2020, and May 31, 2020, (dates inclusive) to June 1, 2020.  Extended deadlines including Office Action responses and payment of issue fees. Most appeal-related deadlines are like-wise extended until June 1. For small or micro-entities, the USPTO has additionally extended the deadlines to reply to an Office notice during patent pre-examination processing and payment of patent maintenance fees.
 
To be eligible for an extension, the filing must be accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Accordingly, extensions are available if a practitioner, applicant, patent owner, registrant, inventor, or other person associated with the filing or fee was personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, e.g., due to cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delays, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances.
 
In addition, the USPTO is currently waiving petition fees for revival of abandoned or terminated patent applications and in limited reexamination patent prosecution. Similarly, the USPTO is waiving petition fees to revive abandoned trademark applications or reinstate canceled/expired trademark registrations.

NEW UPDATE...
On May 8, 2020, the USPTO announced that it will grant requests for prioritized examination to applicants that qualify for small or micro entity status without payment of the typical fees associated with other prioritized examination. In addition, the USPTO will endeavor to reach final disposition of applications in this program within six months if applicants respond promptly to communications from the USPTO.
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Canada

NEW UPDATE...
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has extended all time periods that fall between March 16, 2020, and May 15, 2020, to May 19, 2020.
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China
Applies to Trademarks Only!  The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has suspended trademark deadlines for trademark holders whose businesses are unable to continue normal operations due to prevention and control measures in connection with COVID-19 until work is able to resume.
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European Patent Office

NEW UPDATE...
The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that time limits expiring on or after March 15, 2020 are further extended to June 2, 2020. Note that this extension does not apply to final submissions before oral proceedings and for filing divisional applications.
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European IP Office (Trademarks)

NEW UPDATE...
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has extended all times limits expiring between March 9, 2020, and May 17, 2020, until May 18, 2020.
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Mexico  

NEW UPDATE...
The Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property (IMPI) has extended all time limits expiring between March 18, 2020, and May 31, 2020, until June 1, 2020.


South Korea   
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) has announced it will be extending designated deadlines falling in the period between March 31 and May 30 to May 31. These ex officio extensions are not applicable to the statutory periods prescribed by patent/trademark laws or treaties, such as the 31-month time limit for a PCT national phase entry in Korea, the deadline for requesting a substantive examination for patent applications, the deadline for responding to a final rejection, the deadline for filing an opposition against a trademark application, the deadline for responding to an Office Action of an international trademark registration, etc. Additionally, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) has instituted priority examination of patents, trademarks, and designs directly related to national health or COVID-19.
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Major Countries Announcing No Changes to Operations

Japan


World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
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Other Countries Suspending PTO Operations

Afghanistan
Until May 9, 2020


Egypt
Until April 23, 2020


Ethiopia
Until further notice


Iraq
(Trademark Office) – Until April 26, 2020


Jordan
Until April 30, 2020


Saudi Arabia
Until May 3, 2020


Syria
Until further notice


Vietnam
Until further notice (Deadlines falling between March 30, 2020, and April 30, 2020, will automatically be extended until May 30, 2020.)

   

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Other Countries Suspending or Extending PTO Deadlines

Argentina       
Until April 27, 2020


Brazil
Until May 15, 2020


Jordan
Until April 30, 2020


India
Until May 4, 2020


Italy
Until May 15, 2020


Philippines 
Deadlines that fall between March 16, 2020, and May 15, 2020, are extended by 60 days from their respective due dates.


Puerto Rico
(Trademark Office) until May 15, 2020


Spain
Indefinite suspension


United Kingdom
Until May 1, 2020

  

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Additional Resources

Read the Latest Executive Orders From CSG

The Council of State Governments updates state-by-state EOs in real-time

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CDC: Center for Disease Control

The primary national resource for coronavirus-related data and updates.
 

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Keep Connected

Subscribe to receive the COVID-19 Update — a summary of our most up-to-date information in one email.

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COVID-19 Business Strategies Hub   GO  

     


MAJOR COUNTRIES CHANGING PTO PROCEDURES  

MAJOR COUNTRIES ANNOUNCING NO CHANGES PTO OPERATIONS  

OTHER COUNTRIES SUSPENDING PTO OPERATIONS  

OTHER COUNTRIES SUSPENDING OR EXTENDING PTO DEADLINES  

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