Responses to the COVID-19 from IP Offices of Countries and Regions2020-04-10

In response to the increasingly severe global epidemic situation, the following countries and regions have taken corresponding emergency measures to ensure the normal operation of IP work.

 

EUIPO

All time limits expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020, that affect all parties before the Office, extended to 1 May 2020. This includes statutory deadlines such as the deadline to oppose a third party trademark and the priority period. The extension does not include time limit for appealing matters to the General Court.

 

EPO

Deadlines expiring on or after 15 March 2020 extended to 17 April 2020. Includes the deadlines for payment of renewal fees, but excludes the deadlines for filing divisional and making final submissions before oral proceedings.

Oral proceedings will not be held in the premises of the Boards of Appeal until 30 April 2020. Oral proceedings before examination divisions where the summons is notified on or after 02 April 2020 are to be held by videoconference.

 

UK

All days from 24 March 2020 until further notice are declared to be interrupted days. Any deadline that falls on an interrupted day will be extended until the UKIPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period.

To support rights holders, businesses and IP professionals plan ahead UKIPO will provide a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice before ending the interrupted days period.

UKIPO will review the situation in three weeks’ time (17 April 2020) and will either continue with the period of interruption or announce that the period will end after a further two weeks.

 

France

All deadlines expiring during the period of 12 March 2020 to 1 month after the end of the health emergency situation are postponed to:

–one month after the end of this period if the initial deadline was one month and

–two months after the end of this period if the initial deadline was at least two months.

This postponement applies to all the deadlines provided for by the French intellectual property code, with the exception of those resulting from international agreements or European texts.

 

Germany

All deadlines in prosecution set by the GPTO are extended till 4 May 2020.

Deadlines set by law cannot be extended by the Office. Re-establishment of rights requests are possible for such deadlines if it can be shown that the deadline was missed without any fault (vs. showing all due care under normal circumstances) on part of the person that missed the deadline.

Scheduled hearings and oral proceedings are cancelled. According notifications will be sent for each case. No new hearings or oral proceedings will be summoned under the given circumstances.

 

Italy

All terms, including those peremptory, relating to administrative proceedings, on the request of a party or office, pending on the date of 23rd February 2020 or initiated after that date are suspended for the period between 23rd February 2020 and 15th April 2020.

Certificates, authorizations and permits etc expiring between January 31st and April 15th, 2020, retain their validity until June 15th, 2020.

Industrial property rights expiring between January 31st and April 15th retain their validity until June 15th, 2020; after that date, it is up to the person concerned, who intends to extend the duration of an industrial property title, to activate using the forms already provided for by the law in order to achieve the maintenance in life or renewal of the right.

Terms relating to appeals before the Board of Appeal are excluded from the above mentioned suspension as they relate to judicial proceedings and not to administrative ones.

 

Norway

For designs and trademarks, an extension of at least two months will be granted. For patents, a two-month extension will be granted. The NIPO must have received the request for a deadline extension before the deadline expires.

The instructions apply only to deadlines set by the NIPO. This means that they do not apply to deadlines determined by laws and regulations.

 

Switzerland

For all procedures, IPI will now grant an extension of two months for the first and second extension of the time limit. If important reasons are presented, IPI will grant a third extension of an appropriate duration, without the agreement of any opposing party. These regulations also apply to the extension of time limits in opposition and cancellation procedures on the grounds of non-use of trade marks. Deadlines for payment not prescribed by law will only be extended for important reasons.

Request for further processing (trademark, patent and design procedures): The request must be filed within two months of receiving notification of the expiry of the time limit, and at the latest within six months of the expiry of the time limit.

Request for reinstatement (only in trademark and design procedures): The request must be filed within 30 days of the removal of the cause of non-compliance with the time limit. You must state the reasons why you were prevented from acting within the time limit through no fault on your part.

Request for re-establishment of rights (only in patent procedures): The request must be filed within two months of the removal of the cause of non-compliance with the time limit, at the latest within one year of the expiry of the unobserved time limit. You must provide prima facie evidence that you have been prevented, through no fault on your part, from observing the time limit. In addition, you must carry out the omitted act.

Suspension of time limits for procedures before the IPI: Please note that the majority of time limits for procedures before the IPI will be suspended from 21 March until 19 April 2020.

 

Austria

All open official time limits still open on March 16, 2020 in proceedings before the Patent Office (e.g. time limits for comments on notices or time limits for the submission of a counter-statement in bilateral proceedings) were interrupted by ordinance until April 30, 2020. They will start anew on May 1, 2020 (in principle from the beginning), although the Patent Office may also set an appropriate new deadline from May 1, 2020.

 

Spain

Suspension of deadlines in all administrative proceedings with the Spanish PTO started as of March 14, 2020.

 

US

A person who is unable to meet patent or trademark related deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a waiver of certain deadlines due between 27 March 2020 and 30 April 2020, that is, extending 30 days from the initial due date. The USPTO is waiving petition fees in certain situations for customers impacted by the coronavirus. The USPTO has waived the need for an original handwritten signature in all cases.

 

Canada

All patent, trademark and industrial design deadlines due between 16 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 will be extended to 01 May 2020.

 

Mexico

Patent and trademark deadlines suspended from 24 March 2020 to 19 April 2020.

 

Brazil

All deadlines suspended from 16 March to 14 April 2020, with usual operation from 15 April 2020.

 

South Africa

Patent Office closed until 01 May 2020, with deadlines extended until 04 May 2020.

 

ARIPO

In accordance with the relevant provisions of the Bangui agreement and its annexes, the procedure expiring on 30 April (including 30 April 2020) on 18 March 2020 will be extended until 31 May 2020. This measure can be adjusted as the epidemic progresses.

 

Japan

Designated Time Limits

If you are not able to carry out procedures for applications or trials/appeals pending at the JPO within the designated time limits due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, please attach a document explaining the circumstances that prevented you from carrying out the procedures. By doing so, the procedures will be considered to be valid even after the designated time limits expired if it is found to be necessary.

Statuary Time Limits

If you are unable to carry out certain procedures due to the COVID-19 coronavirus within the procedural periods specified by laws or governmental and ministerial ordinances, you can carry out the procedures only within the relief period.

 

South Korea

Regardless of their nationality, applicants whose application is pending before KIPO will be granted an automatic extension in the designated time for certain actions set out by KIPO, such as submission of written opinion, to 30 April 2020. Applicants will not be required to file a request to the Office for the extension of the time limit to take effect.

This measure also applies to the cases where applicants have failed to observe time limits for certain procedural actions for any reasons relating to the Covid-19, as KIPO will regard such reasons as the causes beyond their control and therefore not imputable to them. All they will be asked to do is just indicating in the statement simply that the cause of such failure relates to the Covid-19. This ex post remedy will also be available up until 30 April 2020.

 

India

All deadlines for the completion of acts, the filing of documents and replies or the payment of fees during the period of lockdown commencing 24 March 2020 are extended to 15 April 2020.

 

Vietnam

The Office has been closed from 01 April 2020 to at least 15 April 2020. Any deadlines which fall from 30 March 2020 to 30 April 2020 in relation to procedures for filing trademarks, designs and patent applications shall be automatically extended to 30 May 2020. If an Applicant is prevented from completing an act by COVID-19, the Applicant can also claim force majeure as regulated under Vietnamese law.

 

Philippines

Deadlines for all papers, pleadings, documents, and payments thereof falling due from March 16, 2020, to April 14, 2020, are deemed extended for a period of forty-five (45) calendar days from the due date.

New applications for patents, utility models, industrial designs, and trademarks, for the period of 16 March 2020 to 14 April 2020 may be filed online through the IPOPHL electronic filing system but processing shall commence upon resumption of work. No manual filing shall be accepted during the said period.

Payment of filing fees including claim for convention priority fee of new applications for patents, utility models, industrial designs, and trademarks, with or without claim of priority date filed from March 16, 2020 to April 14, 2020 through the IPOPHL electronic filing systems are deemed extended for a period of forty five (45) calendar days from the online filing date. However, applicants may still opt to pay using the online payment system upon filing.

 

Source: Official website of the IP Office of the above-mentioned countries/regions

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