Coronavirus Updates & Resources

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COVID-19 is disrupting the global IP community. We are committed to providing members relevant information on handling the health crisis and the impact on our industry. Scroll down to view our resources.

We will refresh this page regularly with the most up-to-date information.
Updated: September 11, 2020

 

 

A Message to Our Community of IP Practitioners

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to keep you updated on our ongoing mission to support our members while also protecting the health and safety of our staff and volunteer leaders.

The AIPLA staff at our Arlington, VA headquarters, is working remotely for the foreseeable future but we are 100 percent operational.  We are still readily available by phone, email, or online and are working hard to ensure our members and the IP community remain connected and supported. 

AIPLA also continues to provide effective and rewarding ways to connect with your colleagues and friends in the AIPLA community during this unusual and challenging time. Look for our upcoming virtual events, webinars, committee conference calls, and other ways to stay informed and up to date on IP law and practice through our events calendar and Online Learning Academy.  Members can also stay in touch and offer support to each other through our online communities at AIPLAconnect, or you can contact us directly if you are in need of information or help. 

In these unprecedented times we are thankful for our strong member community and we stand with you as we face these professional and personal challenges together. 

 

 

Coronavirus Resources

Click on the dropdowns below for more information.

 

 

North America

United States

Copyright Office

Copyright Office Allows Electronic Submission of Recordation Special Handling Requests – May 27, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Copyright Office is further expanding its capabilities to receive electronic submissions for Office services. In addition to the electronic filing options previously announced, the Office is now permitting members of the public to submit requests for expedited processing (known as “special handling”) of document recordation submissions, including notices of termination, by email. A list of the Office’s current physical and electronic submission options for various services is available on our website.

The Copyright Office Public Information Office is available for questions through our website at copyright.gov/help/ or by phone at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll-free).

For more information on COVID-19 generally, please visit coronavirus.govCDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.

Copyright Office Issues Interim Rule on Secure Tests Affected by COVID-19 – May 8, 2020

The Copyright Office has published an interim rule that amends its regulations regarding eligibility for the Office’s special registration procedure for “secure tests.” The prior regulations required that a secure test be administered “at specified centers.” Due to the COVID-19 emergency, certain tests normally administered at specified centers are temporarily being administered remotely. Under the interim rule, these tests will remain eligible for registration as secure tests, provided the administrator employs sufficient security measures.

In addition, the Office is currently exploring whether it could conduct examination of secure test claims via secure teleconference. The Office is requesting public comment regarding such a process. The Office also is announcing its intention to issue guidelines to allow interested parties to request informal meetings with the Office in this rulemaking. For more information, please visit the Office’s website.

For general information about Copyright Office operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit copyright.gov/coronavirus. The Copyright Office Public Information Office is available for questions through our website at copyright.gov/help/ or by phone at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free).

For more information on COVID-19 generally, please visit coronavirus.govCDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.

Copyright Office Extends Timing Adjustments for Persons Affected by the COVID-19 Emergency - May 1, 2020

The Acting Register of Copyrights is extending the temporary adjustments to certain timing provisions under the Copyright Act for persons affected by the COVID-19 national emergency. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorizes the Register to temporarily adjust statutory deadlines for copyright owners and other affected parties if she determines that a national emergency declared by the President is generally disrupting the normal operation of the copyright system. Under this authority, the Copyright Office has announced adjustments relating to certain registration claims, notices of termination, and section 115 notices of intention and statements of account.

 

These emergency modifications originally were set to expire on May 12, 2020. Because, however, the disruptions caused by the national emergency remain in effect, the Acting Register is extending them for up to an additional sixty days, or through July 10, 2020. For further details, please visit the Office’s Coronavirus page.

 

The Copyright Office Public Information Office is available for questions through our website at copyright.gov/help/ or by phone at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll-free).

 

For more information on COVID-19 generally, please visit coronavirus.govCDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.

Filing Options for Copyright Office Services - April 8, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Library of Congress buildings have been closed and the U.S. Copyright Office has implemented extended telework requirements to reduce the number of onsite staff to essential personnel who come into the Office for the minimum amount of time necessary. In addition, the Office is aware that restrictions impeding mobility and temporary closures of businesses are limiting the public’s ability to access Office services.


To mitigate the impact of these restrictions, the Office is expanding its capabilities to receive electronic submissions for more services. The Office already permits online filing for most types of registration applications, and it strongly encourages applicants to file online as the most efficient and cost-effective method of registering claims in copyright. To further assist persons affected by the national emergency, the Office has implemented new electronic submission options for certain additional services, as indicated below. In addition, the Office recently adopted a final rule to facilitate electronic submission for other Office services as administrative processes are established. View more details

Copyright Office Expands Electronic Submission Options - April 7, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Copyright Office is expanding its capabilities to receive electronic submissions for Office services. While many of the Office’s services, including applications for copyright registration submitted through the electronic Copyright Office (“eCO”) system, are already largely digital, for other services the applicable regulations or practices allowed submission of materials by physical delivery only. To assist persons who may be unable to send physical mail during the national emergency, the Office is now permitting submissions by email for certain services, including filing notices of termination for recordation, requests for reconsideration of refusals to register, and requests for removal of personally identifiable information from the public record. To facilitate those efforts, the Office today has published a final rule to facilitate electronic submission for additional Office services as administrative processes are established.

The Office has provided a list of current physical and electronic submission options for various services, including the new options implemented in response to the national emergency, on its website. This page will be updated as electronic options are introduced or modified.

The Copyright Office Public Information Office is available for questions through our website at copyright.gov/help/ or at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free).

For more information on COVID-19 generally, please visit: coronavirus.govCDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.

Emergency Relief for Section 115 Paper Processes During COVID-19 Pandemic - April 6, 2020

The U.S. Copyright Office has become aware that some entities may not be able to provide paper Notices of Inquiry (NOIs), Statements of Account (SOAs), and, potentially, associated royalty payments under section 115 of the Copyright Act because the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented them from physical processing. To address this issue, subject to section 710 of the Copyright Act, the Office is temporarily adjusting certain timing provisions so the requirement to provide NOIs, SOAs, and royalty payments is tolled during the period of disruption caused by the pandemic. This timing adjustment also requires entities to provide copyright owners with certain information, including a certification that the entity is unable to process paper materials and contact information on how to temporarily opt in to electronic delivery of materials. This adjustment is available only during the period of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For details of the temporary adjustment, including specific instructions on how to use it, please see the Office’s Coronavirus page.

The Copyright Office Public Information Office is available for questions through our website at copyright.gov/help/ or at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free).

For more information on COVID-19 generally, please visit: coronavirus.govCDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.

Registration of Claims with Physical Deposit Copies During Temporary Building Closure - April 2, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Library of Congress buildings are closed to the public, and the U.S. Copyright Office has implemented extended telework requirements to reduce the number of onsite staff. To mitigate the effect of this temporary closure on the examination of electronic applications accompanied by physical deposits, the Office will offer applicants the option of providing an additional electronic copy of the work so the claim can be examined remotely.

 

For Applications Before April 2, 2020

Effective April 2, 2020, the Office may contact applicants who have filed an electronic application for which a physical deposit copy has already been received to offer the option of uploading an electronic copy of the work so the claim can be examined remotely. The submission of an electronic copy will be allowed only when the registration specialist assigned to the claim contacts the applicant to offer the option.

If the applicant agrees to use this option, the applicant must submit both an electronic deposit copy and a declaration form, under penalty of perjury, stating that the electronic copy is identical to the physical copy previously submitted. The applicant may upload the declaration form in the same manner as the electronic deposit copy. The registration specialist assigned to the claim will send the declaration form to the applicant and will provide the applicant with instructions for uploading the completed declaration and the deposit to the appropriate claim.

Applicants must wait until the registration specialist contacts them and provides instructions for the upload. Applicants should not contact the Public Information Office regarding this option unless they have heard from a registration specialist and are having difficulty with the upload process.

 

For Applications Filed On or After April 2, 2020

Effective April 2, 2020, for newly submitted electronic applications for published works that require the submission of “best edition” physical copies of the deposit, the applicant will have the option of uploading an electronic copy of the work in addition to mailing the required physical copies. If the applicant submits the voluntary electronic copy, registration specialists will be able to examine the claim remotely.

Applicants who use this option must submit both an electronic deposit copy and a declaration form, under penalty of perjury, stating that the electronic copy is identical to the required physical copies that the applicant will mail to the Office together with the shipping slip generated in eCO. Applicants may use the declaration form provided here. The applicant may upload the declaration form in the same manner as the electronic deposit copy. If an applicant decides to use this option, registration specialists will be able to examine the claim remotely once they receive the application, fee, electronic deposit copy, and declaration. If an applicant decides to use this option, teleworking Registration Specialists will be able to examine the claim when they receive the application, fee, electronic deposit copy, and declaration.

For both of the options above, if the applicant cannot, or prefers not to, submit an electronic copy, examination of such claims will begin in the order received once registration specialists resume in-Office examination. Although examination of the claim will be delayed, the effective date of registration will generally be the date that the Office received the application, fee, and physical deposits.

These interim processes apply during the temporary closure of the Library to electronic applications for published works for which physical deposits are required under the Office’s regulations. These options are not available to applicants submitting paper applications.

These measures are exceptional in nature and temporary in duration and are projected to terminate when the Library resumes normal operations.

For applicants filing electronic applications for which physical copies are not required to be submitted, the Office strongly encourages the submission of electronic deposits.

Please refer to U.S. Copyright Office NewsNet Issue 807 for applications requiring special handling.

The Acting Register’s announcement is available at copyright.gov/coronavirus/, which also provides general information about Copyright Office operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Copyright Office Public Information Office is available for questions through our website at copyright.gov/help/ or at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free).

For more information on COVID-19, please visit: Coronavirus.govCDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.

Copyright Office Announces Temporary Changes to Certain Timing Provisions - March 31, 2020

On March 27, 2020, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which authorizes the Register of Copyrights to temporarily adjust timing provisions in the Copyright Act if she determines that a national emergency is generally disrupting the normal operation of the copyright system. The Acting Register is exercising this authority to adjust certain deadlines relating to copyright registration and notices of termination in specific cases for persons unable to comply due to the COVID-19 national emergency.

For copyright registrations, the adjustment allows affected copyright owners to receive additional time to register a work in order to be eligible for certain remedies in infringement actions. Under the Copyright Act, statutory damages and attorney’s fees are generally available only if a work is registered before the infringement or within three months after first publication. The Acting Register will extend the three-month window for applicants who can show that they were unable to comply due to the emergency—for example, because they could not mail physical materials or lacked access to a computer. To qualify, an applicant must submit a statement certifying under penalty of perjury that they would have met the deadline but for the national emergency.

The adjustment provides similar accommodations for persons who are prevented from serving or recording notices of termination within statutorily required time periods. These persons likewise must provide a certification that they would have met the deadline but for the national emergency.

The Acting Register’s announcement is available at copyright.gov/coronavirus/, which also provides general information about Copyright Office operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Copyright Office Public Information Office is available for questions through our website at copyright.gov/help/ or at (202) 707-3000 or 1-877-476-0778 (toll free).

For more information on COVID-19, please visit: coronavirus.gov, CDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.

Electronic refusal letters and decisions in requests for reconsideration - March 20, 2020

U.S. Copyright Office staff are currently working remotely in an effort to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 respiratory virus. Ordinarily, when the Office refuses to register an application for copyright registration, the refusal letter will be sent to the applicant through U.S. Mail. Because many staff members are not in the Office, examiners cannot send hard-copy letters at this time.

To ensure that applicants receive a timely registration decision, the Office has decided to send refusal letters via email, instead of sending a physical copy through the mail.

When a claim is refused, the refusal letter will be sent to the email address provided in the registration application. The letter will be attached to the email as a PDF attachment. The attached PDF constitutes “written” notice of the Office’s registration decision per 37 C.F.R. § 202.5(b)(4) and 17 U.S.C. § 410(b).

 

Decision letters for requests for reconsideration to be sent by email

The Office will follow a similar approach when responding to a first or second request for reconsideration: the response will be sent to the email address provided in the reconsideration request. Responses to first requests for reconsideration will include instructions on how to submit a second request for reconsideration. Responses to second requests for consideration via email will constitute final agency action per 37 C.F.R. § 202.5(g).

Questions about these processes should be directed to the Public Information Office at: 1 (877) 476–0778.

Please also note that U.S. Copyright Office fees for many services, including the fee to request reconsideration of a refused registration, increased as of March 20, 2020. Applicants are encouraged to review the new fees before preparing any future submissions or requests. Information about the new fees is available here: https://www.copyright.gov/about/fees.html.

For more information about how COVID-19 affects Copyright Office operations, please visit copyright.gov/coronavirus.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit: Coronavirus.govCDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.

Registration Special Handling Arrangements - March 18, 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Library of Congress buildings are currently closed to the public. The U.S. Copyright Office has implemented extended telework requirements that result in a reduced number of onsite staff. Consequently, with respect to applications for registration, the processing of paper applications and the examination of physical deposits will be delayed. The Office strongly encourages applicants to submit applications online, as the most efficient and cost-effective method of registering claims in copyright.

To minimize the effects of these temporary measures on the initiation of copyright infringement actions, the Office is adopting an interim policy for the “special handling” of applications for registration on an expedited basis. For special handling claims that are submitted electronically and for which electronic deposits are permissible under the regulations, these claims will continue to be examined within five business days by examiners that are teleworking.

For electronic applications that require the submission of physical deposits of the best edition, applicants must still send the physical deposits, but the Office will allow the applicant to additionally upload an electronic deposit of that same work. The electronic deposit must be accompanied by a declaration or similar statement certifying, under penalty of perjury, that the electronic deposit is identical in content to the physical deposit that has been sent to the U.S. Copyright Office. This will allow teleworking examiners to examine such claims within five business days.

As noted above, these measures are exceptional in nature and temporary in duration, and are projected to terminate when the Library reopens its buildings to the public.

As developments unfold, the Copyright Office will consider whether similar accommodations may be appropriate for other Office services, and will promptly provide updates through NewsNet and our website.

Buildings and Facilities

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Library of Congress building and facilities are closed to the public. In addition, the Copyright Office has implemented extended telework requirements, which will limit the number of onsite staff. Assistance by phone and email are still available. Click here for more information.

Teleworking staff will continue to examine electronic copyright applications and digital deposits that are uploaded to the electronic registration system ("eCO"). But we will not be able to examine physical deposits or paper applications at this time.

To minimize the impact on copyright owners who need to register their works on an expedited basis, the Copyright Office has modified its special handling policy:

  • Special handling for electronic applications with digital deposits. Special handling claims will be examined within five working days if the applicant submits an electronic application, pays the filing fee and the additional fee for special handling, and uploads a digital deposit to the eCO system.
  • Special handling for electronic applications with physical deposits. Applicants who are required to submit a physical deposit should submit an electronic application, pay the filing and the additional fee for special handling, print a shipping slip and attach it to the physical deposit, and mail the physical deposit and shipping slip to the Copyright Office.

Special handling claims with a physical deposit will be examined within five business days if the applicant also uploads a digital copy of that same work through the eCO system. The electronic upload must be accompanied by a declaration or similar statement certifying under penalty of perjury, that the content of the digital deposit is identical to the physical deposit that has been sent to the Copyright Office.

Note: If the applicant mails a physical copy to the Copyright Office - but does not upload a digital copy to the eCO system - the claim will not be examined until teleworking staff are permitted to return to the Library of Congress's building.

These measures are exceptional in nature and temporary in duration and are projected to terminate when the Library reopens its buildings to the public.

Online and Phone Services

The U.S. Copyright Office continues to be open through our website copyright.gov for online registration, searching copyright-related records, and learning about copyright topics. We are also receiving registration applications and recorded documents sent by mail.

Members of the public may submit emails with questions through our website and reach us by phone at (202) 707-3000, while our office facilities are closed to the public to reduce the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 coronavirus. Additionally, we are unable to accept deliveries by personal courier at this time, though we are currently accepting deliveries via U.S. Postal mail and commercial delivery services such as UPS, FedEx, and DHS.

We have established a webpage with answers to specific questions about special handling and will soon include information about effective date of registration, search and certification services, and other matters. We will also be sending additional NewsNet bulletins with updated information as needed.

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Notice of Extension of Access Restrictions for the National Courts Building (September 11, 2020)

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Court of Federal Claims have entered a new joint order extending their prior administrative orders of June 26, 2020, concerning access to the National Courts Building complex in Washington, D.C.   Effective immediately, building access will continue to remain limited to court staff, however requests for access will still be handled on a case-by-case basis when submitted in writing at least 24 hours ahead of time.  The full administrative order is available on the court's website.  The full notice is available here

Public Advisory Concerning the June 2020 Court Session (May 11, 2020)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hold all oral arguments telephonically during the court’s June 2020 session. Given the continued public health restrictions and limits on public access to the courthouse, the court will also provide live audio access to such arguments, with access information available by 9:00 a.m. (Eastern) each day of argument on the court's website (link).  Arguing counsel in scheduled cases will receive additional instructions.  The full notice is available here.

Public Advisory Concerning the May 2020 Court Session (April 21, 2020)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hold all oral arguments telephonically during the court’s May 2020 session. Given the continued public health restrictions and limits on public access to the courthouse, the court will also provide live audio access to such arguments, with access information available by 9:00 a.m. (Eastern) each day of argument on the court's website (link).  The full notice is available here.

Public Access Information for April 2020 Court Sessions - April 2, 2020

Public access information for live audio of the court's April 2020 Court Session will be available at this link by 9:00 a.m. (EDT) each day of argument.  Members of the media and the public can also access this information under the Announcements menu of the court's website.  After the end of each day's arguments, audio recordings of each argument will be available on the court's website (link).

Availability of Live Audio Access to April 2020 Court Session – April 1, 2020

Following declarations of public health emergencies in the National Capital Region, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit limited public access to the courthouse and directed that all remaining arguments on the April 2020 calendar be conducted telephonically. Given these extraordinary circumstances, the court has authorized live audio access to all arguments during the April 2020 session.

By 9 a.m. (EDT) the morning of each day of argument, the Clerk’s Office will post on its website dial-in numbers that members of the media and the public can use to access the live audio of each panel scheduled for argument that day. Members of the media and the public can begin connecting to an individual conference line starting at 9:15 a.m. each day of argument, and attendees should plan to connect to the conference line no later than 9:45 a.m.

These conference lines will be available in “listen only” mode, with a separate line used to access each panel. Recordings of all arguments will be posted on the court’s website after the conclusion of arguments each day.

Because of limited on-site staff availability, the Clerk’s Office will neither be able to provide technical assistance to anyone trying to access the conference lines nor be able to provide access information either ahead of time or beyond what is posted on the court’s website.

Please direct any media inquiries to chiefdeputyclerk@cafc.uscourts.gov.

Guidance to Counsel On Serving Documents Outside Of Cm/Ecf - March 27, 2020

The Clerk’s Office has received an increase in questions concerning service of documents outside of the court’s electronic filing system (CM/ECF) due to current public health guidance and restrictions that inhibit access to postal mail.  To assist counsel, the Clerk’s Office has issued new guidance on how counsel may accomplish service outside of CM/ECF, which is most frequently required when serving pro se parties or confidential materials. 

Notice of Modified Public Assistance from the Clerk's Office - March 23, 2020

Pursuant to the court's March 20, 2020 Administrative Order, the Clerk's Office will be reducing public assistance by phone as of Monday, March 23, 2020.  Instead, members of the public are asked to contact the Clerk's Office by email using one of two new email addresses.  For inquiries about pending cases, contact casequestions@cafc.uscourts.gov.  For all other inquiries, please contact publicinformation@cafc.uscourts.gov.  By modifiying this procedure, it will allow Clerk's Office staff to better manage the increased call volume with reduced on-site court staff.  Please review the full notice for additional information.

Notice of Modified Procedures for Pro Se Parties - March 20, 2020

Pursuant to the court's March 20, 2020 Administrative Order, the Clerk's Office has implemented modified filing and service procedures for parties appearing without counsel ("pro se").  The Notice of Modified Filing Procedures for Pro Se Parties provides for how pro se parties can now submit all documents by email or facsimile.  The Notice of Modified Service Procedures for Pro Se Parties provides for how pro se parties can now consent to service by email.  These procedures are available on a new section of the court's website: Special Temporary Procedures for Pro Se Parties.

Additional Modifications to Court Operations - March 20, 2020

As part of the Federal Circuit's efforts to continue court operations in response to ongoing public health emergencies, the court is implementing additional temporary modifications to court operations, including suspending the filing of certain paper copies, establishing modified filing and service procedures for parties appearing pro se, authorizing changes to how the Clerk's Office provides assistance to the public, and providing additional guidance to counsel concerning the scheduling of future court hearings.  For additional information, please review the administrative order issued today, March 20, 2020.

Federal Circuit Judicial Conference Cancelled - March 15, 2020 

In light of national efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and in the interest of minimizing any unnecessary risk to all involved, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has decided to cancel the May 15, 2020 Judicial Conference and all related events, including the judges-only activities scheduled for Thursday, May 14, 2020.   It is our hope to be able to reschedule this conference. 

All registration fees that have already been processed will be refunded. If you have not received your refund by the end of this month, please contact our office at judicialconference@cafc.uscourts.gov.

If you reserved a room at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel, we are requesting that you please contact the hotel directly (800) 228-9290 and cancel your reservation as soon as possible.

The Federal Circuit sincerely appreciates the interest expressed by so many in attending our conference and the contributions of everyone who worked hard to prepare an outstanding program this year. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we look forward to seeing you at a future Judicial Conference!

Updated Public Advisory Concerning the Federal Circuit's April 2020 Sitting - March 18, 2020

Based on current public health guidance and efforts to continue to minimize community transmission of COVID-19 within Washington, D.C. and the National Capital Region, the court has decided that all cases scheduled for argument during the April 2020 sitting will now be conducted by telephonic conference and no in-person hearings will be held. 

Parties in all cases previously advised that in-person argument will receive an updated notice in their respective cases.  The court will continue to release same-day audio for all arguments on its website (available at http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/oral-argument-recordings). 

International Trade Commission (ITC)

USITC RESPONSE TO COVID-19 - April 17, 2020

The USITC is open for business and will continuously monitor the situation.

  • There is concern over the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) across the world.

 

  • The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other relevant agencies have been providing guidance to agencies regarding COVID-19 as the situation evolves, and the USITC reviews and implements this guidance accordingly.

 

  • Out of an abundance of caution, and with the interests of our employees and those who have business before the Commission in mind, the Commission is undertaking certain measures that will affect how you do business with the agency.

The Commission has implemented the following actions at this time. Except otherwise noted all actions will be in effect until June 10, 2020.

GENERAL PRACTICE

  • Since March 17, 2020, all U.S. International Trade Commission employees have been teleworking full time. Commission staff may be contacted via telephone and email as usual. Certain specific contacts are also listed below.

 

 

 

 

  • The Secretary’s Office will accept only electronic filings during this time. Filings must be made through the Commission’s Electronic Document Information System (EDIS, https://edis.usitc.gov). No in-person paper-based filings or paper copies of any electronic filings will be accepted until further notice. See the Federal Register notices above.

VISITOR ACCESS TO THE USITC BUILDING - UPDATED

  • The USITC Building is now closed to the public until further notice. Information will be updated here. As noted above, the Secretary’s Office will only accept electronic filings.

SECTION 337

 

  • All discovery will continue and any essential outside participation by staff will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

 

TITLE VII PRELIMINARY CONFERENCES, HEARINGS, VOTES AND FACTFINDING HEARINGS

  • Until June 10, 2020 (unless otherwise extended), no in-person preliminary phase Title VII (antidumping and countervailing duty) staff conferences will be held for new and ongoing investigations. Instead, interested parties will have the opportunity to provide witness testimony and responses to staff questions through written submissions, in addition to post conference briefs. Information and guidance will be provided to parties by the investigative staff in each affected investigation.

 

  • The Commission will conduct all Title VII votes by notation, and there will be no in-person vote until June 10, 2020 (unless otherwise extended). Vote outcomes will be reported via news releases in the News Release section on the homepage of the USITC web site, as usual, and posted on EDIS.

 

  • Until June 10, 2020 (unless otherwise extended), no in-person hearings will be held for final phase Title VII investigations, five-year (sunset) reviews, and those held under Section 332 and Section 131. In lieu of in-person hearings, the Commission staff will provide specific information and guidance to parties in each affected investigation on alternative means of providing information to the Commission. Interested parties will be invited to provide written testimony and responses to questions issued by the Commission with certified written responses; parties may also be invited to participate in virtual or telephonic closing and/or rebuttal statements. The Commission continues to consider its capabilities and may announce future changes to its procedures.

 

 

AGENCY MEETINGS, SEMINARS, AND BRIEFINGS WITH OUTSIDE VISITORS

  • All scheduled in-person group meetings, seminars, and conferences are canceled or postponed until June 10, 2020 (unless otherwise extended). If you were scheduled for a meeting, seminar, or conference at the USITC building, contact the event organizer for further information.

VENDORS – INVOICE SUBMISSION

  • Vendors should continue to submit invoices to Invoices@usitc.gov. The Commission will continue to process them as normal.

QUESTIONS?

Media inquiries and general questions: Peg O’Laughlin, margaret.olaughlin@usitc.gov

Filing questions: edis3help@usitc.gov
[Note: general telephone lines in the Office of the Secretary will not be monitored. Please send an email with your contact information and a staff member will call you.]

Hearing-related questions: commissionhearings@usitc.gov or preliminaryconferences@usitc.gov

Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

USPTO announces relief to restore priority or benefit rights for patent applicants – June 12, 2020

Pursuant to Subsection 12004(a) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and 37 C.F.R. § 1.183, and in response to the requests from stakeholders, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is extending the time period for petitioning for certain rights of priority or benefit in a patent application and waiving the associated petition fee.

The relief extends the two-month time-period for restoring the right of priority to or benefit of a foreign or provisional application for any nonprovisional application due to be filed on or after March 27, 2020, but on or before July 30, 2020.

Read the full notice on the USPTO website for further details.

Comments and patent-related inquiries concerning the notice may be sent by email to Covid19PatentsRelief@uspto.gov. If email submission of comments is not feasible due to lack of access to a computer and/or the internet, please call the Office of Patent Legal Administration at 571-272-7704 for special instructions.

The USPTO strongly encourages patent applicants to file documents and fees via the USPTO patent electronic filing systems (EFS-Web or Patent Center).

USPTO launches COVID-19 Response Resource Center - June 3, 2020

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today launched the COVID-19 Response Resource Center to provide stakeholders and other interested parties with improved access to USPTO initiatives, programs, and other helpful intellectual property (IP)-related information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

 “As it always does, our nation’s innovation community will play a crucial role in devising creative solutions to the ongoing pandemic,” said Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “The USPTO stands shoulder-to-shoulder with inventors and entrepreneurs and is working on a variety of measures to incentivize, protect, and disseminate COVID-19 related innovation. The COVID-19 Response Resource Center will provide inventors, entrepreneurs, and IP practitioners with a centralized destination to access information and assistance needed to meet the challenges of these times.”

 The resource center allows users to easily view information on a number of critical initiatives to aid the public throughout the ongoing crisis, including the USPTO’s “Patents 4 Partnerships” IP marketplace platform and the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program for accelerating the evaluation of patent applications directed to COVID-19 related technologies. Information on trademark counterfeiting and consumer fraud, as well as updates on international developments related to the COVID-19 outbreak, are also available.

 The resource center also includes links to the USPTO’s Pro Bono Program, information on voluntary early patent application publication, and resources for inventors and small businesses. The resource center will be updated on a continuing basis to incorporate new information, programs, and initiatives.

The USPTO invites the public to submit recommendations or suggestions for the USPTO to consider as it assists the IP community. Please email comments to COVIDcomments@uspto.gov

USPTO to allow filing of initial patent term extension applications via patent electronic filing systems in response to the COVID-19 outbreak – May 29

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) considers the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak to be an “extraordinary situation” within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183. In accordance with this notice, the USPTO will permit patentees to file initial patent term extension applications that meet certain criteria via EFS-Web or Patent Center.

 For the full text, see the official notice on the USPTO website.  

USPTO releases additional information on the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program – May 18, 2020

On May 8, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program, permitting COVID-19-related applications filed by small and micro entities to be put on a fast track for patent examination. Today, the USPTO launched a related webpage, where you can find additional resources and information pertinent to the program.

As outlined in the official notice, up to 500 qualifying patent applications will be accepted for prioritized examination and exempted from prioritized examination fees. 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.

USPTO announces COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program for small and micro entities - May 8, 2020

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program.

Under this new pilot program, the USPTO will grant requests for prioritized examination to patent 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. Read the press release for more information.

USPTO to allow filing of plant patent applications and correspondence via patent electronic filing systems in response to the COVID-19 outbreak – May 6, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced it will temporarily permit the filing of plant patent applications and follow-on documents via the USPTO patent electronic filing systems (EFS-Web or Patent Center) until further notice. Filers are reminded that only registered users of the USPTO patent electronic filing systems may file follow-on documents into existing applications via the USPTO patent electronic filing systems. Read the news brief for more information.

USPTO releases a form to assist with making a statement of delay due to COVID-19 – May 5, 2020

The USPTO has released a form for making a statement of delay due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The form is in response to requests from applicants for guidance on how best to make a statement and will assist the office in processing these requests.

You can access the Statement of Delay due to COVID-19 Outbreak form on the patent forms page of the USPTO website.

For all other USPTO notices regarding COVID-19, please go to www.uspto.gov/coronavirus
USPTO Launches Patents 4 Partnerships Platform – May 4, 2020

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 4, 2020, unveiled a new web-based intellectual property (IP) marketplace platform, Patents 4 Partnerships, to provide the public with a user-friendly, searchable repository of patents and published patent applications related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are indicated as available for licensing. The new platform will facilitate the voluntary licensing and commercialization of innovations in a variety of key technologies, and help disseminate valuable patent information. Patents 4 Partnerships allows users to search and sort information in a variety of easy-to-use ways, including by keyword, inventor name, assignee and issue date. At launch, its contents have been drawn from a variety of public sources. The USPTO invites users to send comments through the link provided on the main page of the platform, and invites IP owners to submit additional technologies that they believe are related to the COVID-19 crisis. 

https://developer.uspto.gov/ipmarketplace/search/patents

USPTO extends certain patent and trademark deadlines to June 1 – April 28, 2020

In accordance with the temporary authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed by President Trump on March 27, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today further extended the time to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees, which otherwise would have been due between March 27 and May 31, to June 1, 2020. This is in addition to the prior extension the USPTO had announced on March 31, 2020

“Innovation and entrepreneurship will play a key role in our fight against this pandemic, and in the upcoming recovery of our country,” said Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. “Accordingly, the USPTO continues to assess measures to support the work of inventors and entrepreneurs during this crisis and beyond.”

For details of the latest extension, read the official Patent and Trademark notices on our website. The USPTO will continue to evaluate the evolving situation around COVID-19 and the impact on the USPTO’s operations and stakeholders.

The new notices supersede the previously posted:

  • “Notice of Waiver of Patent-Related Timing Deadlines under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” dated March 31, 2020;
  • “Notice of Waiver of Trademark-Related Timing Deadlines under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” dated March 31, 2020; and
  • “Relief Available to Patent and Trademark Applicants, Patentees and Trademark Owners Affected by the Coronavirus Outbreak,” dated March 16, 2020.

The USPTO will also update its answers to the CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in accordance with these notices.

USPTO answers frequently asked questions on CARES Act relief - April 6, 2020

The USPTO has released a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers for patent and trademark filers regarding the USPTO’s previously announced extension of certain patent and trademark-related timing deadlines under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. To access these FAQs, please go to the Extension of Deadlines under the CARES Act FAQs on the Patents and Trademarks webpages.  

Interviews, Oral Hearings, and In-Person Meetings

Until further notice, examiner and examining attorney interviews, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) oral hearings, and other similar in-person meetings with parties and stakeholders scheduled to take place at USPTO offices on or after Friday, March 13, 2020 will be conducted remotely by video or telephone. Parties will receive further instructions on how to participate by video or telephone in advance of the interview, hearing, or meeting.

If you have any questions, please contact the following:

  • For patent examiner interviews, please contact the examiner or the examiner’s supervisor (SPE) directly. Additionally, if you have any questions about telephonic or video interviews in general or are unable to reach the examiner or SPE with respect to a particular interview, please email: ExaminerInterviewPractice@uspto.gov
  • For trademark examining attorney interviews, please contact the managing attorney.
  • For PTAB oral hearings, please contact PTABHearings@uspto.gov or call 571-272-9797.
  • For TTAB oral hearings, please contact TTABHearings@uspto.gov or call 571-272-8500.
  • For other in-person meetings, please contact your USPTO point of contact for that meeting.
Events

The events page on USPTO.gov is the best place to find an up-to-date list of upcoming USPTO events. If an event will be postponed or canceled, we will update the listing to reflect the change.

Offices Closed to the Public

Out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of the public and USPTO employees, all USPTO offices will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice.

USPTO offices will remain open for employees, contractors, and those with access badges. Unless otherwise notified, USPTO operations will continue without interruption. Patent and trademark application deadlines and other deadlines are not extended.

Those with official business with the USPTO should reach out to their points of contact with any questions or through the CONTACT US link. For more information on coronavirus please visit: cdc.gov/covid19.

Relief for USPTO Customers Affected by COVID-19

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) considers the effects of coronavirus to be an "extraordinary situation" within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183 and 37 CFR 2.146 for affected patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners. Therefore, the USPTO is waiving petition fees in certain situations for customers impacted by the coronavirus.

This notice does not grant waivers or extensions of dates or requirements set by statute. Read more details in the USPTO official notice.

Waiver of Original Handwritten Signature Requirement

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) considers the effects of COVID-19 to be an "extraordinary situation" within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183 for affected patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners. Therefore, the USPTO is waiving the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) for an original handwritten signature for certain correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and certain payments by credit card.

The Office notes that the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) are the only USPTO requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures, and the USPTO has no other requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures. 

Supreme Court of the United States

Press Release Regarding May Teleconference Oral Arguments -  April 13, 2020

The Court will hear oral arguments by telephone conference on May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 in a limited number of previously postponed cases.  The following cases will be assigned argument dates after the Clerk’s Office has confirmed the availability of counsel: 

18-9526, McGirt v. Oklahoma
19-46, United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V.
19-177, Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc.
19-267, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, and 19-348, St. James School v. Biel
19-431, Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania, and 19-454, Trump v. Pennsylvania
19-465, Chiafalo v. Washington
19-518, Colorado Department of State v. Baca
19-631, Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, Inc.
19-635, Trump v. Vance
19-715, Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, and 19-760, Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG

In keeping with public health guidance in response to COVID-19, the Justices and counsel will all participate remotely. The Court anticipates providing a live audio feed of these arguments to news media. Details will be shared as they become available.

The Court Building remains open for official business, but most Court personnel are teleworking. The Court Building remains closed to the public until further notice.

Press Release Regarding Postponement of April Oral Arguments – April 3, 2020

In keeping with public health guidance in response to COVID-19, the Court will postpone the oral arguments currently scheduled for the April session (April 20-22 and April 27-29). The Court will consider rescheduling some cases from the March and April sessions before the end of the Term, if circumstances permit in light of public health and safety guidance at that time. The Court will consider a range of scheduling options and other alternatives if arguments cannot be held in the Courtroom before the end of the Term.  

The Court will continue to proceed with the resolution of all cases argued this Term. Opinions will be posted on the Court’s Website. The Court is continuing to hold its regularly scheduled conferences and issuing Order Lists. 

The Court Building remains open for official business, but most Court personnel are teleworking. The Court remains closed to the public until further notice.

Order (Coronavirus) - March 19, 2020

In light of the ongoing public health concerns relating to COVID-19, the following shall apply to cases prior to a ruling on a petition for a writ of certiorari:

IT IS ORDERED that the deadline to file any petition for a writ of certiorari due on or after the date of this order is extended to 150 days from the date of the lower court judgment, order denying discretionary review, or order denying a timely petition for rehearing. See Rules 13.1 and 13.3.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that motions for extensions of time pursuant to Rule 30.4 will ordinarily be granted by the Clerk as a matter of course if the grounds for the application are difficulties relating to COVID-19 and if the length of the extension requested is reasonable under the circumstances. Such motions should indicate whether the opposing party has an objection.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, notwithstanding Rules 15.5 and 15.6, the Clerk will entertain motions to delay distribution of a petition for writ of certiorari where the grounds for the motion are that the petitioner needs additional time to file a reply due to difficulties relating to COVID-19. Such motions will ordinarily be granted by the Clerk as a matter of course if the length of the extension requested is reasonable under the circumstances and if the motion is actually received by the Clerk at least two days prior to the relevant distribution date. Such motions should indicate whether the opposing party has an objection.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that these modifications to the Court’s Rules and practices do not apply to cases in which certiorari has been granted or a direct appeal or original action has been set for argument.

These modifications will remain in effect until further order of the Court.

White House

The President's Coronavirus Guide for America
This White House resource sheet includes what you should know about the virus, instructions on how to stay safe, and methods to slow the spread of the virus.

Canada

Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)

Important update on CIPO operations and services - (2020-05-13)

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) remains open and in operation at this time. We are working to eliminate any residual delays in services that have occurred as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. We are grateful to our clients and stakeholders for their patience as we have adjusted our operations to respond to restrictions related to COVID-19.

We have made efforts, in coordination with other intellectual property offices, to ensure flexibility for clients by using designated days to extend deadlines. However, we  understand that the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is still having a negative impact on Canadians and Canadian businesses alike, and we remain committed to taking steps to reduce this impact.

On account of the continuing unforeseen disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and being satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so, the Commissioner of Patents, under subsection 78(2) of the Patent Act; the Registrar of Trademarks, under subsection 66(2) of the Trademarks Act; and the Minister, under subsection 21(2) of the Industrial Design Act, have designated for the purposes of subsection 78(1) of the Patent Act, subsection 66(1) of the Trademarks Act and subsection 21(1) of the Industrial Design Act all days in the period of time beginning on May 19, 2020, and ending on May 29, 2020. This designation is in addition to the previous designations of the days in the period beginning on March 16, 2020, and ending on May 15, 2020.

The result of designating these days is that if a time period fixed under the Patent ActTrademarks Act and Industrial Design Act in respect of any business before CIPO for doing anything ends on any of these designated days, that time period is extended to the next day that is not either a designated day or a day that has been prescribed under section 5 of the Patent Rules, section 15 of the Trademarks Regulations and section 36 of the Industrial Design Regulations. This means that all such time limits ending on any of these designated days will now be extended until June 1, 2020.

It should still be noted that if the circumstances that led to the designation of these days continue, the Commissioner, Registrar and Minister may decide to extend the period of time for which days are designated.

To ensure continuity of service, our online solutions remain available. We encourage you to use the online services for all your transactions with CIPO. Please note that designated regional offices, to which correspondence with CIPO can usually be delivered, may make their own decisions about remaining operational or open to the public.

TMOB proceedings – Delays and extensions of time - (2020-05-13)

The Registrar is committed to ensuring that parties before the Trademarks Opposition Board (TMOB) are able to obtain extensions of their deadlines affected by COVID-19.

The Registrar has designated the days falling between March 16 and May 29, 2020 (extension to May 20 from May 15) pursuant to section 66 of the Trademarks Act. The effect of this is that any deadlines set in the Trademarks Act, Trademarks Regulations or by the Registrar in a proceeding before the TMOB that fell between March 16 and May 29, 2020 now fall on June 1, 2020 (see section 66(2) of the Act and section 2 of the Regulations which allows for extensions of periods and deadlines fixed under the Act and Regulations, including any deadlines in opposition, section 45, and objection proceedings). For deadlines falling after May 29, the Registrar will consider the disruption caused by COVID-19 a sufficient circumstance to obtain an extension of time under sections 47(1) and 47(2) of the Act upon request. The Registrar may also use its discretion under section 47(1) to extend deadlines on its own initiative if it is in the interests of justice to do so.

Please continue to monitor the CIPO website as this period may be further extended.

Service interruption – Reopening Document Dissemination Service – April 24, 2020

On April 27, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office's Client Service Centre will resume its intellectual property document order service. Clients should expect delays in the processing of their requests as we work to fulfill orders in the backlog.

We apologize for the inconvenience that this service interruption may have caused, and we look forward to serving you.

TMOB proceedings – Delays and extensions of time - March 30, 2020

The Registrar is committed to ensuring that parties before the Trademarks Opposition Board (TMOB) are able to obtain extensions of their deadlines effected by COVID-19.

The Registrar has designated the days falling between March 16 and April 30 (extension to April 30 from March 31), 2020 pursuant to section 66 of the Trademarks Act. The effect of this is that any deadlines set in the Trademarks Act, Trademarks Regulations or by the Registrar in a proceeding before the TMOB that fell between March 16 and April 30, 2020 now fall on May 1, 2020 (see section 66(2) of the Act and section 2 of the Regulations which allows for extensions of periods and deadlines fixed under the Act and Regulations, including any deadlines in opposition, section 45, and objection proceedings). For deadlines falling after May 1, the Registrar will consider the disruption caused by COVID-19 a sufficient circumstance to obtain an extension of time under sections 47(1) and 47(2) of the Act upon request. The Registrar may also use its discretion under section 47(1) to extend deadlines on its own initiative if it is in the interests of justice to do so.

Please continue to monitor the CIPO website as this period may be further extended.

Trademark Examination: sending general correspondence using the online system - March 27, 2020

This notice was prepared in the rapidly-evolving context of the COVID-19 service interruptions at CIPO. To ensure continuity of service, our online solutions are available 24/7. We encourage you to use the online services for all your transactions with CIPO.

In particular, trademark applicants or their appointed agents are reminded that they can use CIPO's online e-Filing service to respond to office correspondence (such as examiner's reports) without having to amend any information in the application. This can be done by following the "Apply for/amend a trademark" link on the main CIPO Trademarks page. After logging in to your ISED account, select the "Amend a previously filed application" link. On the "Closing details" page of the particular application, a response can be entered manually as text or by attaching a file (in .pdf or .doc(x) format). Confirm and add the amendment transaction to your Cart and proceed as you normally would to when sending an amended application. Note that there is no fee to file an amended application.

Important update on CIPO operations and services - March 27, 2020

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office remains open and in operation at this time, however clients should expect significant delays in all CIPO services.

CIPO understands that the current COVID-19 outbreak is having a negative impact on Canadians and Canadian businesses alike and is committed to taking steps to reduce the negative impact on our clients.

On account of the continuing unforeseen disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and being satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so, the Commissioner of Patents, under subsection 78(2) of the Patent Act, the Registrar of Trademarks under subsection 66(2) of the Trademarks Act, and the Minister under subsection 21(2) of the Industrial Design Act have designated for the purposes of subsection 78(1) of the Patent Act, subsection 66(1) of the Trademarks Act, and subsection 21(1) of the Industrial Design Act all days in the period of time beginning on April 1, 2020 and ending on April 30, 2020. This designation is in addition to the previous designation of the days in the period beginning March 16, 2020 and ending March 31, 2020.

The result of designating these days is that if a time period fixed under the Patent ActTrademarks Act and Industrial Design Act in respect of any business before the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for doing anything ends on any of these designated days, that time period is extended to the next day that is not either a designated day or a day that has been prescribed under section 5 of the Patent Rules, section 15 of the Trademarks Regulations and section 36 of the Industrial Design Regulations, which means that all such time limits ending on any of these designated days will now be extended until May 1, 2020.

It should still be noted that if the circumstances that led to the designation of these days continues, the Commissioner, Registrar and Minister may decide to extend the period of time for which days are designated.

To ensure continuity of service, our online solutions remain available. We encourage you to use the online services for all your transactions with CIPO. Please note that designated regional offices, to which correspondence with CIPO can usually be delivered, may make their own decisions about remaining operational or open to the public.

TMOB proceedings – Delays and extensions of time - March 23, 2020

The Registrar is committed to ensuring that parties before the Trademarks Opposition Board (TMOB) are able to obtain extensions of their deadlines effected by COVID-19.

The Registrar has designated the days falling between March 16 and March 31, 2020 pursuant to section 66 of the Trademarks Act. The effect of this is that any deadlines set in the Trademarks Act, Trademarks Regulations or by the Registrar in a proceeding before the TMOB that fell between March 16 and March 31, 2020 now fall on April 1, 2020 (see section 66(2) of the Act and section 2 of the Regulations which allows for extensions of periods and deadlines fixed under the Act and Regulations, including any deadlines in opposition, section 45, and objection proceedings). For deadlines falling after April 1, the Registrar will consider the disruption caused by COVID-19 a sufficient circumstance to obtain an extension of time under sections 47(1) and 47(2) of the Act upon request. The Registrar may also use its discretion under section 47(1) to extend deadlines on its own initiative if it is in the interests of justice to do so.

Please continue to monitor the CIPO website as this period may be further extended.

Service Interruption at Regional Offices 

The following regional offices for the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) are not receiving CIPO correspondence until further notice:

  • Toronto (151 Yonge Street, 4th floor, Toronto, Ontario)
  • Vancouver (Library Square, 300 West Georgia Street, Suite 2000, Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Edmonton (Canada Place, 9700 Jasper Avenue, Suite 725, Edmonton, Alberta)
  • Montréal (Sun Life Building, 1155 Metcalfe Street, Room 950, Montréal, Quebec)

Please note that CIPO remains open for business. It remains the responsibility of CIPO's clients to ensure that all deadlines are respected. Please see our correspondence procedures for more details.

Operations and Services Update

The health, safety and security of CIPO staff, clients, partners and stakeholders is our top priority. At all times, CIPO will follow the guidance of public health authorities and the Government of Canada.

CIPO remains open and in operation at this time; however, clients should expect significant delays in all CIPO services.

On account of the unforeseen disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, and being satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so, the Commissioner of Patents, under subsection 78(2) of the Patent Act, the Registrar of Trademarks under subsection 66(2) of the Trademarks Act, and the Minister under subsection 21(2) of the Industrial Design Act have designated for the purposes of subsection 78(1) of the Patent Act, subsection 66(1) of the Trademarks Act, and subsection 21(1) of the Industrial Design Act all days in the period of time beginning on March 16, 2020 and ending on March 31, 2020. The result of designating these days is that if a time period fixed under the Patent ActTrademarks Act and Industrial Design Act in respect of any business before the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for doing anything ends on any of these designated days, that time period is extended to the next day that is not either a designated day or a day that has been prescribed under section 5 of the Patent Rules, section 15 of the Trademarks Regulations and section 36 of the Industrial Design Regulations, which means that all such time limits ending on any of these designated days will be extended until April 1, 2020. It should be noted that if the circumstances that led to the designation of these days continues, the Commissioner, Registrar and Minister may decide to extend the period of time for which days are designated.

To ensure continuity of service, our online solutions are available to you 24/7 and anywhere. We encourage you to use the online services for all your transactions with CIPO. Please note that designated regional offices, to which correspondence with CIPO can usually be delivered, may make their own decisions about remaining operational or open to the public.

Mexico

In the margin a stamp with the National Shield, which says: United Mexican States.- Federal Court of Administrative Justice.- General Plenum of the Superior Chamber. – April 17, 2020

AGREEMENT that continues with the suspension of the legal terms and terms in the National Institute of Copyright due to force majeure. – April 17, 2020

AGREEMENT that modifies the various by which the activities of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property are suspended due to force majeure. - April 17, 2020

AGREEMENT that modifies the diverse by which the terms are suspended and no legal terms are in force at the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property in the indicated period. – April 17, 2020

General AGREEMENT 6/2020 of the Plenary of the Council of the Federal Judiciary, which reforms and adds the similar 4/2020, related to contingency measures in the courts for the public health phenomenon derived from the COVID-19 virus. – April 16, 2020

General AGREEMENT number 6/2020, of April thirteen, two thousand and twenty, of the Plenary of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, by which the suspension of jurisdictional activities is extended and, therefore, the days of the period are declared unfit. comprised from the twenty of April to the five of May of two thousand twenty, and the days that are necessary to provide for the admission and suspension of urgent constitutional controversies, as well as for the remote celebration of the plenary sessions and the Chambers are enabled of this High Court. – April 15, 2020

Agreement suspending IMPI activities due to force majeure - March 26, 2020
Check the agreement here (Spanish).

 

 

Europe

Court of Justice of the European Union

Change to The Judicial Activities of the Court of Justice as a Result of the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic - March 19, 2020

Owing to the unprecedented health crisis that we are currently experiencing, the Court of Justice is obliged temporarily to change its working arrangements.

Judicial activity continues, but priority is of course given to those cases that are particularly urgent (urgent proceedings, expedited proceedings and interim proceedings).

Procedural time limits for instituting proceedings and lodging appeals continue to run and parties are required to comply with those time limits, without prejudice to the possible application of the second paragraph of Article 45 of the Protocol on the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

By contrast, the time limits prescribed in on-going proceedings – with the exception of the abovementioned proceedings that are particularly urgent – are extended by one month with effect from today. Those time limits shall expire at the end of the day which, in the following month, is numbered the same as the day on which the time-limit should have expired or, if that day does not exist in the following month, at the end of the day of the last day of that month.

Until further notice, the time limits that are to be fixed by the registry, with effect from today, shall also be increased by one month.

Hearings that are listed between now and 3 April 2020 are adjourned until a later date.

The parties are requested to consult regularly the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union (www.curia.europa.eu).

Once it has resumed its judicial activities as normal, the Court will, if necessary, contact the representatives of the parties to inform them regarding the next stages of the proceedings.

Change to the Judicial Activities of the General Court as a Result of the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic - March 19, 2020

Owing to a major crisis situation, the General Court of the European Union was initially obliged to restrict substantially its judicial activities. The hearings listed until 3 April 2020 were adjourned and only those cases that are particularly urgent (expedited proceedings, proceedings receiving priority treatment and interim proceedings) were dealt with.

The General Court has now changed its working arrangements and is endeavouring, as far as possible, to continue dealing with other cases also. Priority shall continue to be given to cases that are particularly urgent.

Time limits, including time limits for instituting proceedings, shall continue to run and the parties are required to comply with those time limits, without prejudice to the possibility of invoking the second paragraph of Article 45 of Protocol on the Statute of the Court of Justice.

In order to take into account the legitimate difficulties that the parties are currently facing, the time limits that will be fixed by the registry, with effect from today, shall be adapted to the context of the unprecedented health crisis that we are currently experiencing. The parties are requested to consult regularly the internet site of the Court of Justice of the European Union (www.curia.europa.eu).

European Patent Office (EPO)

Notice from the European Patent Office dated 1 May 2020 concerning the disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak – May 1, 2020

1. The European Patent Office published a Notice[ 1 ] dated 16 April 2020 concerning the disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak and drawing attention to the legal remedies provided for under the European Patent Convention (EPC) and under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in cases of non-observance of time limits. In particular, under Rule 134(2) EPC it provided for an extension of periods expiring on or after 15 March 2020 for all parties and their representatives to 4 May 2020, and referred to the application of Rule 134(5) EPC and Rule 82quater.1 PCT. Since the general dislocation due to the pandemic continues in the Federal Republic of Germany, there is a need to further extend the periods. Therefore, the present Notice replaces the previous Notice dated 16 April 2020 (OJ EPO 2020, A43) and, with the exception of the date, reproduces its content.

2. As the state in which the European Patent Office is located, the Federal Republic of Germany, like many other Contracting States, is experiencing restrictions on the movement and circulation of persons, as well as on certain services, exchanges and public life in general, which can be qualified as a general dislocation within the meaning of Rule 134(2) EPC. Periods expiring on or after 15 March 2020 are extended for all parties and their representatives to 2 June 2020[ 2 ]. In accordance with Article 150(2) EPC this applies also for international applications under the PCT. The above period may be further extended by the publication of another notice if the dislocation extends beyond the aforementioned date.

3. Without prejudice to paragraph 2 of this Notice and in respect of cases not covered by it, Rule 134(5) EPC offers a safeguard in the case of non-observance of a time limit as a result of a dislocation in the delivery or transmission of mail caused by an exceptional occurrence affecting the locality where an applicant, a party or their representative resides or has his place of business. This provision applies to cases where the failure to observe time limits is the result of exceptional circumstances beyond the applicant's control and may therefore be invoked by any applicants, parties to proceedings or their representatives affected by the disruption in the areas affected by the outbreak.[ 3 ]

4. Pursuant to Rule 134(5) EPC, any document received late will be deemed to have been received in due time if the person concerned offers evidence that on any of the ten days preceding the day of expiry of a period, it was not possible to observe the time limit due to this exceptional occurrence and that the mailing or the transmission was effected at the latest on the fifth day after the end of the disruption.

5. Without prejudice to paragraph 2 of this Notice, applicants are referred to Rule 82quater.1 PCT as regards time limits and conditions applicable under the PCT. In particular, where the interested party offers satisfactory evidence that a time limit under the PCT was not met due to natural calamity or other like reason in the locality where the interested party resides, has his place of business or is staying, and that the relevant action was taken as soon as reasonably possible (and no later than six months after expiry of the time limit in question), the delay in meeting the time limit is excused. This provision applies to international applications pending in the international phase, but not to the priority period.

 

[ 1 ] Notice from the European Patent Office dated 16 April 2020 concerning the disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, OJ EPO 2020, A43.

[ 2 ] 2 June 2020 being the first day following the end of the interval of dislocation within the meaning of Rule 134(2) EPC.

[ 3 ] As of 15 March 2020 the list of high-risk areas contained: Austria, federal state of Tyrol; China, Hubei province (incl. the city of Wuhan); France, region of Grand Est (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne); Germany: the Landkreis Heinsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia; Iran; Italy; South Korea, Gyeongsangbuk-do province (north Gyeongsang); Spain, Madrid.

As of 10 April 2020 countries and regions are no longer classified as international risk areas. Due to pandemic spread, there is a global risk of acquiring COVID-19.

Please note that the definition of areas affected by the spread of COVID-19 are subject to change. Please refer to the EPO website for regular updates.

No oral proceedings in the Boards of Appeal until 30 April 2020 – April 1, 2020

Considering the pandemic spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Boards of Appeal is forced to restrict its judicial activities.

Oral proceedings will not be held in the premises of the Boards of Appeal until 30 April 2020. Concerned parties will be contacted accordingly with a communication.

The Boards of Appeal will continue to issue written decisions, communications and summonses to oral proceedings.

The President of the Boards of Appeal will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate measures as the situation evolves.

In view of the rapidly evolving situation with the novel Corona virus (COVID-19), all parties to oral proceedings scheduled to take place before the EPO Boards of Appeal are advised to regularly check the web section of the Boards of Appeal for updated information on access to the premises of the Boards of Appeal in Haar.

Oral Proceedings Before Examining and Opposition Divisions

The EPO has decided to postpone until further notice all oral proceedings in examination and opposition proceedings scheduled until 17 April 2020 unless they have already been confirmed to take place by means of videoconferencing. During this time the EPO will explore options for further facilitating, where applicable, the use of videoconferencing in oral proceedings.

Separate notifications about this postponement will be sent to the parties as soon as possible. To guarantee that all parties are informed in due time, the EPO may exceptionally use additional means of communication (e.g. email). The parties are invited to check the respective files online via the European Patent Register where the notice of postponement until further notice of oral proceedings will be available shortly after its despatch.

Search, examining and opposition divisions will continue with their other activities, as well as holding oral proceedings which have been confirmed to take place by means of videoconferencing. Read the full announcement

Oral Proceedings Before the Boards of Appeal

Considering the pandemic spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Boards of Appeal is forced to restrict its judicial activities.

Oral proceedings will not be held in the premises of the Boards of Appeal until 17 April 2020. Concerned parties will be contacted accordingly with a communication.

The Boards of Appeal will continue to issue written decisions, communications and summonses to oral proceedings.

The President of the Boards of Appeal will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate measures as the situation evolves.

In view of the rapidly evolving situation with the novel Corona virus (COVID-19), all parties to oral proceedings scheduled to take place before the EPO Boards of Appeal are advised to regularly check the web section of the Boards of Appeal for updated information on access to the premises of the Boards of Appeal in Haar.

Remedies in Case of Non-Observance of Time Limits

In view of the disruptions to public life caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the EPO has taken measures to safeguard users’ rights. All time limits expiring on or after 15 March 2020 are thus extended until 17 April 2020. As regards time limits expiring before 15 March 2020, the EPO has facilitated the use of legal remedies for users located in areas directly affected by disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The extensions and remedies apply to parties and representatives in proceedings under the EPC and the PCT. The following notice provides all relevant information and will be published in the EPO’s March Official Journal. If the disruption should continue after 17 April 2020, the EPO may publish another notice informing users about further extensions and remedies in respect of time limits.

Events

The EPO is postponing all EPO organised events in March and April. Organisers will contact participants on an individual basis and, where possible, inform them of the new dates.

Staff Working From Home
Complying with the new Austrian regulations the staff of the EPO’s Vienna office have been instructed to work from home. Staff at all other sites are being provided the means to work from home and many are doing so. The Office fully remains at the service of users and we will ensure the full functioning of our technical infrastructure. Further updates may follow.

European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)

Extension of Time Limits

In order to provide users with further guidance on Decision No EX-20-3 extending time limits expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, the following clarification has been issued about the time limits affected by the extension, the nature of the extension and the measures to adapt communications sent to users.

Ι. TIME LIMITS AFFECTED BY THE EXTENSION

Article 1 of Decision No EX-20-3 of the Executive Director of the Office of 16 March 2020 extends until 1 May (in practice 4 May, since 1 May is a public holiday, followed by a weekend) ‘all time limits expiring between 9 March and 30 April 2020 inclusive that affect all parties in proceedings before the Office’.

Article 101 (4) EUTMR, which empowers the Executive Director to extend time limits in the case of exceptional occurrences uses a similar language, by also referring to ‘all time limits’ and ‘all parties to the proceedings’.

The reference to ‘all time limits’ is to be read literally and encompasses all procedural deadlines, irrespective of whether they have been set by the Office or are statutory in nature (i.e. are stipulated directly in the Regulations).

For the sake of clarity, this expression covers:

  • Time limits set by any instance of the Office, in any proceeding before the EUIPO, including its Boards of Appeal
  • Time limits imposed directly by the EUTMR, the EUTMIR or the EUTMDR as well as CDR and CDIR
    • including those originating from the Paris Convention or other International Treaties, and
    • regardless of whether they are excluded from restitutio in integrum within the meaning of Article 104 (5) EUTMR and Article 67(5) CDR
  • In particular, the following statutory time limits are covered by the extension:
    • Payment of the Application Fee (Article 32 EUTMR)
    • Right of Priority (Article 34(1) EUTMR and Article 41 CDR)
    • Exhibition Priority (Article 38(1) EUTMR and Article 44 CDR)
    • Opposition Period (Article 46(1) EUTMR)
    • Payment of the Opposition Fee (Article 46(3) EUTMR)
    • Request for Renewal (Article 53(3) EUTMR and Article 13 CDR)
    • Filing of an Appeal and of the Statement of Grounds, payment of the Appeal Fee (Article 68 (1) EUTMR and Article 57 CDR),
    • Conversion (Article 139 EUTMR)
    • Deferment of publication of design (Article 50 CDR).

However, the reference in the Decision to ‘proceedings before the Office’ means that time limits that relate to proceedings before other authorities are not covered by the extension, even if mentioned in the Regulations. This is in particular the case with regard to the time limit for:

  • Bringing an action before the General Court against decisions of the Boards of Appeal (Article 72(5) EUTMR and Article 61 CDR).

Finally, it should be pointed out that the expression ‘proceedings before the Office’ only relates to trade mark and design matters, which means that time limits related to subjects not dealt with by the EUTMR or the CDR (such as employment or procurement) or which relate to other matters (e.g. the governance of the Office) are also not covered by the Decision of the Executive Director.

  1. NATURE OF THE EXTENSION

    The extension of time limits granted by the Executive Director has the immediate effect of preventing the deadlines concerned from lapsing when they were originally due, and of setting a new expiry date applicable to all, namely the 1 May 2020 (in practice, 4 May).

    This effect is automatic and derives directly from the Decision of the Executive Director. Accordingly, affected parties are not required to file a request to the Office for the extension of the time limit to take effect.

    Parties to ongoing proceedings are therefore advised not to lodge unnecessary requests for extension.

    It should be noted, however, that in case the parties are in a position to meet either the original or the extended deadline, and choose to discharge their procedural obligations during that period, the procedure will take its usual course and any documents filed will be examined in the regular manner.

    III. COMMUNICATIONS SENT TO USERS

    The immediate effect of the extension also implies that users whose time limits are concerned will not be informed about the grant of the extension by means of individual communications.

    The Office has done its utmost to adapt its IT systems in such a way as to guarantee a seamless treatment of the time limits that were due to expire before the extension date. However, in the unlikely event that a communication from the Office does not adhere to the given extension, the Office will address the case immediately by issuing a rectification either of its own motion or following a written request from the user indicating the file number concerned.

Measures in Place After Activation of Spain 'State of Alarm'

On 14 March, the Spanish government activated a ‘state of alarm’ due to the spread of COVID-19 across Spain. Among the measures announced by Royal Decree 463/2020 is a limitation of movement, meaning that citizens and residents of Spain should leave their homes only under very specific circumstances, such as to buy food and medicines.

As a result, at the weekend, the Executive Director of the EUIPO authorised the activation of the Office’s business continuity protocol, with the effect that as and from Monday 16 March, all EUIPO staff will work from home. This is done to protect the health and safety of staff, stakeholders and the wider community.

Measures have been implemented to ensure an uninterrupted service for users; as far as possible under the circumstances, business at the EUIPO continues as usual. Trade mark and design applications will continue to be received, examined and published, and the Office will continue to send communications and set deadlines. Bulletins will continue to be published as usual.

A decision of the Executive Director has been published extending all time limits to 1 May 2020. In practice, this means that time limits are extended until Monday 4 May, given that Friday 1 May is a public holiday.

Our Information Centre and Second Line will continue to operate as normal to receive queries by phone or email.

We are committed to providing the best service to our users we can during this period, and we will be publishing regular updates on our website and through our social media channels.

Users are also advised that the Office’s headquarters will remain closed until further notice; no visitors will be admitted and all events scheduled at the Office during this period are postponed.

German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA)

Notice Concerning Delays in IP Procedures and Time Limits

As a rule, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office is able to continue to provide its services and to perform the patent, utility model, trade mark and design procedures by using the electronic means available to it.

However, many of our staff are affected by the restrictions currently imposed, such as quarantine measures, so that delays will affect all fields of work. In particular, this affects any paper-based mail and fax copies to be received and any paper-based mail to be sent by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, which our staff will, for the time being, not be able to process without delays because the presence of our staff at the office is reduced.

Please use our e-filing systems DPMAdirektPro and DPMAdirektWeb to file your IP applications and take any further actions related to the procedure – particularly with respect to national and international procedures subject to time limits. By using these e-filing options, you make sure that we receive everything you send.

There may also be delays in issuing certificates – particularly documents, register extracts, apostilles and certificates of origin – and in issuing priority documents. We recommend that you make your request for such certificates and documents as early as possible.
The dates of publication of the IP gazettes may be different from the scheduled dates.

With regard to all pending IP procedures, time limits granted by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office are extended, and no decision will be made because of the expiration of any time limit, until 4th May 2020. Separate notices concerning the extensions of time limits will not be issued. In addition, the time limits to be set by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office will be as generous as the situation requires.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office is not authorized to extend time limits provided for by law. In this respect, reference is made to the option of re-establishment of rights (see also Notice of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office of 3rd March 2020).

The below policies apply to hearings and oral proceedings:

Summons to appear in hearings or oral proceedings will no longer be issued, whether the proceedings are unilateral or multilateral.

Hearings and oral proceedings that have been scheduled will not take place until further notice and are cancelled ex officio. Cancellation ex officio will be notified in writing.

The immediate transfer of international design applications to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization cannot be guaranteed either. Therefore, we recommend that you file such applications directly with the WIPO.

This information can also be found in the notice of 18 March 2020.

United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO)

Coronavirus Update on IP Services - March 27, 2020

Following government advice on measures to tackle the spread of the Coronavirus, we have closed access to our buildings until further notice.

Our staff are equipped to work from home and are doing so to avoid unnecessary travel and social contact.

The majority of our services remain unaffected and the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will continue to operate as normal for customers apart from some areas set out below.

We ask all rights holders and IP professionals to continue to file as normal where possible. We recognise the current challenges faced by many and so in order to support businesses, rights holders and IP professionals we will be introducing the following service changes with immediate effect.

Interrupted days

Due to the unprecedented disruption and to support rights holders, businesses and IP professionals at this time we have decided to declare 24 March, and subsequent days until further notice, interrupted days.

This means that any deadlines for

  • patents,
  • supplementary protection certificates,
  • trade marks
  • designs,

and applications for these rights, which fall on an interrupted day will be extended until the IPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period. To support rights holders, businesses and IP professionals plan ahead we will provide a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice before ending the interrupted days period.

We 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.

Our formal notice and certificate of declaration sets out the relevant information.

We encourage you to continue to work to existing deadlines if possible. Interrupted days have been introduced as a safety net where the normal course of business is not possible.

Postal and paper services

We are currently unable to process paper forms, faxes and paper correspondence. No documents can be filed by hand at our offices.

Customers should use online services and communicate with us digitally whenever possible. This will give us the best chance of continuing to deliver our services.

We are able to accept electronic signatures on forms and other documents.

We have created a new email address for services that are not available online called paperformcontingency@ipo.gov.uk. This can be used instead of faxing or posting documents to us.

We are no longer processing documents through the fax service until further notice.

If customers file paperwork with us by post, these documents will not be processed until normal services are resumed and our sites re-open. At this point they will be given the date of receipt as a provisional filing date.

As previously confirmed we will extend time periods where national and international legislation allows. We will support affected customers using the discretionary powers available to us.

We will continue to update this page with any changes to services, as well as providing more details as they develop.

Further information on alterations to services for specific rights:

Coronavirus Advice for Rights Applicants

The IPO will take whatever measures we can to support rights applicants and their attorneys who have been affected.

Can deadlines be extended?

The IPO will extend time periods where national and international legislation allows. We are willing to support affected customers using the discretionary powers available to us.

Extensions of time

The IPO is willing to consider requests for extensions of time as favourably as possible on a case-by-case basis.

Loss of rights due to failure to meet a time period

Where a failure to meet a time period has resulted in a loss of rights, those rights may be reinstated or restored in certain circumstances.

The UK’s intellectual property legislation does not provide any single provision for all situations that may arise. Legal provisions depend on the nature of the late response and the circumstances of the delay. IPO staff can explain the options available and how reinstatement or restoration procedures work.

For more information or to request an extension, customers should:

  • contact the named officer or section dealing with their application
  • contact the IPO Information Centre at Information@ipo.gov.uk or telephone on 0300 300 2000

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

WIPO Launches Tool to Track IP Policy Information in Member States during COVID-19 Pandemic – May 5, 2020

WIPO today launched a new tool that tracks COVID-19 related intellectual property (IP) policy changes or other measures being implemented by WIPO member states in their response to the global pandemic. This is the latest in a series of measures taken by the Organization in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 IP Policy Tracker is an information repository that will help all stakeholders navigate changes implemented by the worldwide IP community as it adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

With our mandate to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system, it is natural for WIPO to take the lead in making available such a tool that promotes the widest-possible comprehension of important IP policy and other measures as they arise.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry

Many national and regional IP offices are implementing measures to assist applicants and owners of IP rights, for example by providing extensions of time or grace periods for fee payments.

In addition, a number of member states have or are considering special measures such as compulsory licenses, should potentially relevant products and technologies be identified. Many in the private sector are implementing voluntary measures to assist and a multitude of technology and projects are ongoing.

With an initial group of a dozen countries, the COVID-19 IP Policy Tracker will be updated regularly. It is freely accessible through a database interface.

Italy:  Extension of the suspension of periods – April 22, 2020

The Italian Patent and Trademark Office (UIBM) has informed WIPO that the suspension of periods in all administrative proceedings before the UIBM indicated in Information Notice No. 14/2020 has been extended.
 
Accordingly, the above-mentioned periods have been suspended from February 23 to May 15, 2020.
 
The suspension of such periods may be extended again.
 
For further information, users of the Madrid System may visit the UIBM’s website, or refer to Information Notice No. 26/2020.
 
Please check our dedicated Madrid webpage on Covid-19 to find out more about recent updates and important information for Madrid users.

WIPO Launches New Search Facility For PATENTSCOPE Database to Support COVID-19 Innovation Efforts – April 21, 2020

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) today launched a new search functionality for its global patent database, PATENTSCOPE, to facilitate the location and retrieval of information contained in published patent documents that may be useful for innovators developing new technologies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WIPO COVID-19 search facility of PATENTSCOPE will provide scientists, engineers, public health policymakers, industry actors and members of the general public with an easily accessible source of intelligence for improving the detection, prevention, and treatment of diseases such as the novel coronavirus.

"Given the drastic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on human health and welfare, the world needs easy access to every bit of information available for the successful innovation in the pursuit of vaccines, treatments and cures. Patent documents are rich sources of technological know-how acquired by humans over the centuries," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. "WIPO's new patent-searching tool will help disseminate information on technologies that others may build upon for the global fight against COVID-19."

At the time of release, the new PATENTSCOPE search facility provides dozens of search queries specially curated by patent information experts who have identified technological areas relevant to the detection, prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

The new facility allows users to search, retrieve and analyze valuable sources of specifically selected technologies in 10 languages with little language barrier. WIPO will also plan to organize webinars to share tips of patent information search on PATENTSCOPE.

About PATENTSCOPE

PATENTSCOPE contains over 83 million patent and related documents, provides comprehensive searching of patent information with multi-lingual search capabilities and an automatic translation system that uses artificial intelligence technologies for highly accurate results.

Via the new COVID-19 functionality, thousands of documents deemed of potential use to innovators working on COVID-19 mitigation efforts would be returned.

WIPO's COVID-19 response

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, WIPO's operations have continued at near-full capacity even as staff move to remote work. On April 15, the Organization unveiled a new dashboard that allows member state representatives and other stakeholders to monitor the Organization's operations during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing a view of the evolution of WIPO’s global intellectual property (IP) services and its financial performance on a month‑by‑month basis.

In an April 7 public broadcast, Mr. Gurry discussed WIPO's record-setting 2019 results for its IP services for patents, trademarks and industrial designs, and arbitration and mediation services, as well as treaty-ratification activity and financial results. Mr. Gurry also discussed COVID-19's likely impact on WIPO in 2020.

Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Processing of PCT Applications at the International Bureau – April 17, 2020

As announced in PCT Newsletter No. 03/2020, the International Bureau (IB) (including as receiving Office) remains in full operation.  Please note however that, given the unreliability of postal systems worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IB has suspended all communication by postal mail until further notice.  The IB is transmitting all PCT-related documents only via e-mail to the e-mail address provided in relation to each international application.  It is recalled that, in addition to e‑mail, PCT-related documents are also available through ePCT.  Furthermore, once an international application has been published, notifications relating to it are also available on PATENTSCOPE.

For PCT applications in which the applicant or agent has not provided a contact e-mail address, the IB advises PCT users to urgently provide the contact e-mail address in relation to their pending international applications.  The IB has published detailed instructions on how to submit the contact e-mail address in relevant cases – please refer to: 

www.wipo.int/pct/en/news/2020/news_0008.html

All PCT users are strongly encouraged to avoid PCT-related submissions by postal mail, and to communicate with the IB exclusively by appropriate electronic means. 

Please also refer to the “Practical Advice” in this issue for further information on alternatives to paper transmittal and receipt of PCT‑related documents, and the “Practical Advice” in PCT Newsletter No. 03/2020 for information about possible remedies where time limits under the PCT have been missed due to unforeseen events.

For information on the IB’s interpretation of the COVID-19 pandemic as falling under the excuse of delays provision under PCT Rule 82quater.1, please refer to the separate article, above.

For information on IP Offices that are closing exceptionally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to “Exceptional IP Office Closed Dates”, below.

WIPO Launches Online Dashboard to Monitor Operations – April 15, 2020

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) today unveiled a new online dashboard that allows member state representatives and other stakeholders to monitor the Organization's operations during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new, web-based and publicly available, WIPO Crisis Management Dashboard will provide a view of the evolution of WIPO’s global intellectual property (IP) services and its financial performance on a month‑by‑month basis.

Download dashboard

I am happy to see that the new WIPO Crisis Management Dashboard shows a successful immediate response to the Covid-19 pandemic by WIPO, whose personnel has quickly adapted to new remote-working arrangements and kept our international IP and other systems operating at near full capacity during this crisis.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry

Dashboard indicators include monthly filings in WIPO's international systems for patentstrademarks and industrial designs, which provide over 92% of the Organization's revenues and form the financial foundation of the Organization. The dashboard will also provide indicators on financial performance and productivity.

"Like businesses everywhere, WIPO is implementing its crisis response to the Covid-19 pandemic. But as an international organization and United Nations specialized agency, we have an extra obligation to real-time transparency as we adjust our operations during this emergency," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

At the time of release, the dashboard shows that the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system, the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks and the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs and the related financial services are operating at or above 90% productivity.  It also shows that WIPO’s corporate IT services and infrastructure are fully operational, permitting remote working conditions for the majority of WIPO’s workforce.

In a recent global broadcast, Mr. Gurry reported on record results for the Organization's global IP services, treaty-adherence activity and revenues in 2019.

Spain: Suspension of time limits and abeyance of ongoing proceedings – April 14, 2020

1. The Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM) has informed the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that, by Royal Decree No. 463/2020 dated March 14, 2020, the Spanish Government has declared a state of emergency to manage the health crisis caused by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

2. The Director General of the OEPM has accordingly decided, on March 16, 2020, that time limits for ongoing proceedings are held in abeyance and that time limits in administrative procedures pertaining to industrial property handled by the OEPM are suspended. The OEPM has further announced the suspension, pursuant to the aforementioned Royal Decree, of time limits for validity and lapse of any acts and rights enforceable before OEPM.

3. For further information, users of the Madrid System may visit the OEPM’s website at the following address: https://www.oepm.es/es/index.html.

International Bureau interprets COVID-19 pandemic as falling under PCT excuse of delays provision and recommends modified practices to PCT Offices - April 9, 2020 

  1. In the view of the International Bureau of WIPO, PCT Rule 82quater.1 of the Regulations under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applies in the current circumstance of global COVID-19 disruption, and the International Bureau of WIPO urges all PCT Offices and Authorities to likewise adopt this interpretation.
  2.  The Rule provides for excuse of delay in meeting PCT time limits (which may relate to the submission of documents and/or the payment of fees), due to reasons of force majeure (“war, revolution, civil disorder, strike, natural calamity… or other like reason”). The position of the International Bureau of WIPO is that the current global pandemic should be considered to be a “natural calamity …. or other like reason”1
  3. The International Bureau of WIPO, including in its role as receiving Office, will treat favorably any PCT Rule 82quater request made citing COVID-19 related issues and not require evidence to be provided that the virus affected the locality in which the interested party resides.  The International Bureau of WIPO urges PCT Offices and Authorities to do likewise.
  4. One acknowledged limitation of PCT Rule 82quater.1 is that it would not be an effective remedy in a situation in which an international application had lost its legal effect as a result of having been declared considered withdrawn (refer to PCT Article 14(3)(a)), for example, for having failed to pay the appropriate fees within the prescribed time limit.2 3  As a result, the receiving Office of the International Bureau of WIPO has decided to delay the issuance of any such notifications (Form PCT/RO/117) until May 31, 2020, and the International Bureau of WIPO urges all PCT receiving Offices to adopt the same practice.
  5. Furthermore, the International Bureau of WIPO recommends that:
    1. for at least one further month (potentially to be further extended), such notifications should only be issued in relation to deadlines which have expired over two months previously; and
    2. receiving Offices waive the charging of late payment fees under PCT Rule 16bis.2.
Covid-19 Update on WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation Operations - April 8, 2020
The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center continues to receive and administer cases submitted under the WIPO Mediation, Arbitration, Expedited Arbitration and Expert Determination Rules.

Until further notice, any new request for WIPO Mediation, Arbitration, Expedited Arbitration and Expert Determination should be submitted electronically via email to arbiter.mail@wipo.int. Alternatively, such request may be submitted online using the WIPO IP Portal form.

Under the WIPO Rules, parties and neutrals benefit from considerable procedural flexibility, allowing a range of procedural adjustments as may be necessary. The WIPO Center also makes available at no cost online case administration options, including an online docket and videoconferencing facilities.

For any queries please contact arbiter.mail@wipo.int.

We thank all parties. Any material developments will be posted.

With our best wishes,

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
Covid-19 Update on WIPO's UDRP and ccTLD Case Operations - April 8, 2020
In a communication of March 16, 2020, WIPO confirmed the deployment of its business continuity program in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.

As part of this response, WIPO remains committed to professionally providing domain name dispute resolution services.

As the situation continues to evolve and impact individuals and businesses worldwide, parties are kindly requested to understand that a degree of flexibility and discretion may be appropriate or necessary in individual case scenarios.

As before, you may submit:

case filing to domain.disputes@wipo.int
case-specific queries to domain.disputes@wipo.int
general questions to arbiter.mail@wipo.int
We thank all parties and UDRP stakeholders. Any material developments will be posted.

With our best wishes,

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
Covid-19 Update: Madrid System - March 31, 2020

Originally published March 25, 2020 (edits have been made since)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is continuing operations under the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks. We are committed to ensuring that any transitional issues experienced by users, intellectual property (IP) offices and any other stakeholders in our processes are kept to a minimum despite these extenuating circumstances.

Find out more: WIPO news on Covid-19.

We are mindful that possible disruptions might affect users of the Madrid System due to measures taken against the Covid-19 outbreak. Consequently, we have compiled all relevant information for Madrid users on this page, which will be updated as instructions become available.

Equivalent measures are being taken in the PCT and Hague Systems; for further information please refer to the respective webpages for these registration systems. 

COVID-19 Impact at the International Bureau – March 31, 2020

As noted in the WIPO Update on COVID-19 on March 16, 2020, the International Bureau remains in full operation.  However, given the unreliability of postal systems worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Bureau (also as receiving Office) has suspended all communication by postal mail until further notice.  The International Bureau will transmit all PCT-related documents only via e-mail to the e-mail address provided in relation to each international application.  Please note that PCT-related documents are also available through ePCT and also on PATENTSCOPE for published international applications.
 
For PCT applications in which the applicant or agent has not provided a contact e-mail address, the International Bureau urges PCT users to urgently provide the contact e-mail address in relation to their pending international application(s).  The International Bureau has published detailed instructions on our website at https://www.wipo.int/pct/en/news/2020/news_0008.html on how to submit the contact e-mail address in relevant cases. 
 
All PCT users are strongly encouraged to avoid PCT-related submissions by postal mail and to communicate with the International Bureau exclusively by appropriate electronic means.

Transmission of paper documents to and from the International Bureau during the COVID-19 pandemic – March 30, 2020

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the operations of the International Bureau and of postal systems worldwide, the International Bureau, also in its function as receiving Office, has  suspended the sending of PCT documents (e.g. PCT Forms, letters) on paper. Until further notice, the International Bureau will transmit documents only via email in order to use reliable means for correspondence with applicants and agents. Please note that PCT-related documents in relation to individual applications are visible through ePCT or, after international publication, on PATENTSCOPE.

PCT users who have not yet provided the International Bureau with an email address in relation to their international application(s), are encouraged to provide such information urgently by:

  1. populating the information directly in relation to one of their pending international applications in ePCT if you have the relevant access rights for the international application;
  2. using the PCT Contingency upload service;
  3. sending an email to one of the following addresses: pct.eservices@wipo.int or pct.infoline@wipo.int; or
  4. using the WIPO (PCT) customer Contact Us page

For detailed instructions on how to provide your information in ePCT, please consult the following webpage and refer to ePCT FAQs. Should you require assistance, please contact: pct.eservices@wipo.int

Furthermore, due to reduced postal services and scanning operations at the International Bureau, all PCT users are urged to communicate with the International Bureau exclusively by electronic means. The best means for communicating electronically with the International Bureau is through ePCT.

Equivalent measures are being taken in the Madrid and Hague Systems; for further information please refer to the respective webpages for these registration systems. 

Remedies and Extension of Time Limits Available for Madrid System Users - March 20, 2020

We are mindful that possible disruptions might affect users of the Madrid System due to measures taken against the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak. Consequently, we wish to inform you of the remedies available against a failure to meet a time limit under the Madrid System.

 

We also would like to remind you of the automatic extension of time limits in case an intellectual property (IP) office is not open to the public, and to suggest measures you can take against possible disruptions in mail or delivery services.

 

Remedies available against failure to meet a time limit for a communication addressed to WIPO

In certain parts of the world, access to mail and delivery services, as well as to electronic communication might be impracticable due to measures taken in connection with the Covid-19 outbreak, such as, for example, lockdown, quarantine or self-isolation.

 

In such a situation, under Rule 5(1), (2) and (3) of the Regulations under the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (the Regulations), users of the Madrid System who have failed to meet a time limit for a communication addressed to WIPO may be excused if they send that communication within five days after regaining access to mail or delivery services or to electronic communication. In any event, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) must receive the communication no later than six months from the date on which the time limit concerned expired.

 

Users must provide sufficient evidence of the reason why WIPO should excuse the above-mentioned failure. Evidence could be, for example, an official announcement or an attestation by a certified physician.

 

Continued processing

Holders or applicants who have failed to meet the time limits specified or referred to in Rules 11(2) and (3), 20bis(2), 24(5)(b), 26(2), 34(3)(c)(iii) and 39(1) of the Regulations1 may request that WIPO continue processing the international application, subsequent designation, payment or request concerned. They may request continued processing without giving any reason or providing any evidence.

 

Applicants or holders must request continued processing by presenting official form MM20 to WIPO within two months from the date on which the above-mentioned time limits expired and meet all the prescribed requirements.

 

Closure of the IP Office of a contracting party

IP Offices of Contracting Parties should inform WIPO that they are not open to the public and indicate the dates on which they will remain closed, either in the same communication or as soon as those dates are known, and specify the date on which they will reopen.

 

Under Rule 4(4) of the Regulations, a period that expires on a day on which an IP Office is not open to the public would expire on the first subsequent day on which that IP Office reopened. All time limits under the Madrid System that concern that IP Office (e.g., the time limit to send a provisional refusal), including the time limit for the holder to respond to a notification sent by the IP Office (e.g., the time limit to respond to a notification of provisional refusal), would be extended accordingly.

 

In the communication mentioned in paragraph 7, above, IP Offices are strongly encouraged to include information on further flexibilities or remedies available to holders of international registrations in connection with time limits afforded by those IP Offices.

 

WIPO will make publicly available all relevant information received from IP Offices of the Contracting Parties on the Madrid Member Profiles Database.

 

Measures against possible disruptions in mail or delivery services

WIPO strongly encourages applicants, holders, their representatives and IP Offices, to use electronic communication to mitigate the negative effects of possible disruptions in mail or delivery services.

Applicants, holders and representatives may present requests to the WIPO using the upload function in Madrid Portfolio Manager or through Contact Madrid. They are also strongly advised to use e-Payment, e-Renewal and e-Subsequent designation.

 

Most importantly, applicants, holders and representatives are strongly encouraged to provide an e-mail address to receive electronic communications from WIPO. Those who have not yet provided an e-mail address may do so through Contact Madrid. WIPO will continue to send a communication by postal services where a communication sent by electronic means fails to reach its intended recipient.

 

Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs

Mindful of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reminds users of the Hague System of remedies available under the Common Regulations under the 1999 Act and the 1960 Act of the Hague Agreement, including the automatic extension of time limits, in case the Office of a Contracting Party is not open to the public. Read more.

Covid-19 Pandemic: International Bureau and International Bureau as Receiving Office Remain Open for the Purposes of Filing and Processing of PCT Applications – March 17, 2020

As from 17 March 2020, WIPO put in place remote working arrangements for most of its staff; some essential staff are still working on WIPO premises.  As a result, at this time, the International Bureau (IB) and the IB as receiving Office remain open for the purposes of filing and processing PCT applications.  For further information, please refer to Press Release PR/847/2020.

If you have not already done so, you are advised to check with other Offices with which you conduct PCT‑related business to see if they have published any notices relevant to Covid‑19.

In addition, please refer to the “Practical Advice” in the coming issue of the PCT Newsletter for information about possible remedies in the case of missed time limits where the PCT Office with which an action needs to be taken is exceptionally closed, or if the applicant’s or agent’s company/firm is forced to close temporarily.

WIPO Update on Covid-19: IP Service Operations Continuing; Remote Work Prioritized – March 16, 2020

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) today announced that it was reserving access to its Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters for personnel essential to the delivery of the Organization’s business continuity protocol, while reassuring that processing of applications filed via WIPO’s Global IP Services has not been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

By putting in place remote working arrangements for all but staff whose work is for now premises-dependent from Tuesday, March 17, WIPO is committed to aligning with fast-evolving medical guidance from Swiss and international health authorities.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry reiterated WIPO’s commitment to the health and safety of its personnel, as well as the communities where they live and work, as well as delivering the Organization’s member state-approved work plan.

“The World Intellectual Property Organization is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of its personnel, while implementing plans that allow us to continue to deliver our important work program,” said Mr. Gurry. “In these worrisome times, the entire WIPO workforce stands in solidarity with the global community as we work together to overcome Covid-19,” Mr. Gurry said.

So far, via the implementation of its business continuity plans, WIPO has been able to continue to process applications filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs, as well as administer other IP and related systems, including the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.

 

 

Asia

China

Chinese Patent Office (CNIPA)

SPC Carries Out First Online Mobile Hearing Amid Epidemic – March 11, 2020

The Supreme People's Court commenced its first online mobile hearing on Feb 25 when its intellectual property rights court conducted remote video inquiries involving parties scattering in different places.

Through the top court's "mobile micro court" platform, the Intellectual Property Court made inquiries of attorney agents who were separately located in Shanghai municipality Zhejiang and Anhui provinces about two jurisdiction-related appeals.

The court made the decision to conduct video inquiries after obtaining the consent of all the agents who were either unable to return to their offices or under home quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

All involved parties had logged into the "mobile micro court" app to get familiar with it the day before the inquiries.

To start with, the court completed the service of relevant court documents while the agents submitted their identity certificates via the app.

During the inquiries, judges and parties all appeared on the screens of their mobile phones in real time. At the end of the inquiries, parties signed the inquiry transcripts online.

The adoption of the platform demonstrates part of the top court's effort to coordinate epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development.

Applicants Can Handle Patent, Trademark and Other Services Online – February 14, 2020

Recently, CNIPA has issued a notice that its service windows will be open from February 3, 2020. In order to strengthen the prevention and control of novel coronavirus pneumonia, effectively reduce the gathering of people and block the spread of novel coronavirus, the applicants are advised to handle the services such as patents, trademarks and layout designs of integrated circuits online via the Internet as they can as possible during the epidemic prevention and control, to minimize the risk of cross infection.

In terms of patent application services, CNIPA provides two approaches for handling online the application services: the electronic application client and the online business processing platform of electronic application. After registered on the China patent online application website (http://cponline.cnipa.gov.cn), the applicant can choose one of the two approaches to edit and submit the patent application documents, receive various types of notifications, and handle the related procedures. If a papery patent application has already been submitted, the applicant can download and install the electronic application client to submit a papery-to-electronic application request and handle the relevant procedures via the electronic application client after approval, or mail other documents after the application date. If a PCT international patent application is to be submitted, the applicant is recommended to choose the electronic application client or the online business processing platform to submit the documents, receive the notifications and handle other services on the PCT electronic application website (http://www.pctonline.cnipa.gov.cn).

In terms of trademark application for registration, the applicants can handle 24 services such as application for registration, change, renewal and transfer of trademarks via the online trademark service system (http://sbj.cnipa.gov.cn/wssq/). They can select “Login for Online Application User” when a trademark application for registration is submitted. If registered, the users can log in directly for business processing; if not, they must be registered before submission of an application. In terms of online payment services, the registered users can select “Login for Online Application User” for handling the payment services. As for online payment only, the applicants can select “Login for Simple User” and make payment before registered for a simple user name. In addition, the applicants are recommended to handle window services as less frequently as possible. Where the services must be handled at the local trademark acceptance windows or in the hall of the trademark examination and cooperation centers outside Beijing, the parties should obey the work notice issued by local relevant institutions during the epidemic prevention and control.

With regard to the registration of layout designs of integrated circuit, the applicants can log in to the online application platform for layout designs of integrated circuit (http://vlsi.cnipa.gov.cn) to submit to CNIPA the new applications and intermediate documents of layout designs of integrated circuit. In order to provide convenience for the majority of users, all the users registered in the online patent application system can directly use the online application system of integrated circuit; those unregistered can use the same after registered in the online application platform for layout designs of integrated circuit. (Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version) 

Matters Concerning the Time Limits for Trademark Business Handling Due to the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak - February 14, 2020

On February 6, CNIPA published the Answers to Matters Concerning the Time Limits for Trademark Business Handling Due to the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (hereinafter referred to as the Answers) on its website, specifying related matters for clients.

The Answers specifies that, for trademark-related businesses like trademark supplement and correction, reply to examination comments, trademark fee payment, provision of proof for use for applications on the same day and reply of negotiation, provision of proof for cancellation of registered trademark for non-use for three consecutive years, application, reply and additional evidence for trademark oppositions, retrial of refused trademark and retrial of invalidation, and trademark-related matters like reply to request for invalidation and additional evidence, if the client fails to do them within the legal or specified time limit due to the epidemic, related time limit shall be suspended since the date when client begins to be hospitalized or isolated after being infected with the novel coronavirus pneumonia or the date when trademark businesses can’t be handled normally in the place where the client is located due to the prevention and control measures, until the date when the infected client is discharged from hospital or the isolation ends, or the date when the local place resumes work and management and control on people ends.

The Answers also specifies that, when handling the above trademark businesses, clients shall also submit the written application for the suspension of the applicable time limit, which is supposed to specify the place where the client is located during the epidemic, barrier to exercise of right and date of elimination, with corresponding evidentiary materials being attached. The evidentiary materials shall include the time limit of infection and treatment, isolation or control, except the public notice on postponement of resuming work issued by local government. To lighten the burden of clients affected by the epidemic, for multiple similar applications for suspension of time limit for the same reason, only one copy of the evidentiary materials needs to be submitted, and it shall be submitted together with one of the cases. And for other cases, only the application number of the case to which the evidentiary materials are enclosed needs to be indicated in the application for suspension of the applicable time limit.  

In addition, clients who fail to apply for registration renewal of trademarks within the extension period due to the epidemic, which may cause the loss of trademark right, may apply for extension within two months since the elimination of the barrier to the exercise of the rights, with related evidentiary materials being attached. (Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version) 

CNIPA Making New Arrangements on Curbing the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus and Striving to Win the Battle Against It - February 14, 2020

The epidemic situation of the novel coronavirus pneumonia is still severe and complicated at present. To thoroughly put into practice the instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the decisions and deployment of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, CNIPA has made new arrangements on epidemic prevention and control, asking various departments to practically prevent risks, safeguard safety, fight against the epidemic and guarantee stability in combination with the return of cadres and staff and strive to win the battle against the virus, guarantee life safety and health of the whole staff and minimize the impact of the epidemic on various operations. On January 31, Shen Changyu, Commissioner and Secretary of the Leading Party Members’ Group of CNIPA, made clear requirements on related work.

First of all, the whole staff of CNIPA should earnestly study and put into practice the principles from General Secretary Xi Jinping's major address, implement the requirements in Notice on Strengthening the Party's Leadership and Providing a Strong Political Guarantee for Winning the Battle for Epidemic Prevention and Control issued by the CPC Central Committee, develop still greater consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment, foster stronger confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics and resolutely uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and resolutely uphold the Party Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership. Full play should be given to the role of primary Party organizations as the battle fortress and the exemplary and vanguard role of CPC members. They should enhance their political position and strengthen the sense of responsibility to guarantee sufficient manpower, proper prevention and control measures, responsibility implementation, publicity and reporting to win the battle against the virus.

Secondly, put into practice related notices and instructions of the Leading Group of the CPC Central Committee for Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control and make concrete measures for epidemic prevention and quarantine of returning staff. Various departments should complete information statistics of related personnel, epidemic checking, self-quarantine and protection, strengthen classified guidance to improve pertinence and effectiveness of protection work, require those from seriously infected areas where the traffic has been controlled and those who have a clear contact history to appropriately extend their return date, isolate those returning from seriously infected areas and communicate with them to master related information in time and encourage and comfort them. Strictly implement body temperature screening and disinfection measures in public areas to resolutely curb the spread of the virus.

Thirdly, take practical measures to minimize the impact of the epidemic on various operations. Recently, CNIPA has published some notices on policies and measures to facilitate business handling concerning patents, trademarks and layout-design of integrated circuits impacted by the epidemic, which are well received by the public. They should track and assess the implementation effect of the above policies and measures timely, further strengthen information collection and study new situations and new problems of public concern and reply to them actively. At the same time, they should also make good arrangements for window service for patent and trademark handling during the epidemic to guarantee safe, stable and orderly operations.

Fourthly, the Patent Examination Cooperation Hubei Center of the Patent Office of CNIPA should follow CNIPA’s deployment and local requirements, take accurate prevention and control measures scientifically and conduct strict management to resolutely fight against the virus. At the same time, overall arrangements are required for the work, study and life of cadres and employees of the Center to guarantee their life safety, health and ideological stability.

Fifthly, CNIPA’s Leading Group for Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control and its working groups shall function practically to make overall plans on epidemic prevention and control of the whole bureau. And major principals of each department shall also fulfill their responsibilities to guarantee the implementation of various measures. 

It is learnt that, in order to put into practice the Notice on Strengthening the Party's Leadership and Providing a Strong Political Guarantee for Winning the Battle for Epidemic Prevention and Control issued by the CPC Central Committee, CNIPA has promptly published related notices, asking its subordinate primary Party organizations to unite and lead their primary Party organizations and Party members and cadres to take the lead in implementing the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the decisions and deployment of the CPC Central Committee.

At the same time, CNIPA has also drawn up the notice on matters concerning patent and trademark handling during the epidemic, giving priority to online business handling and adjusting face-to-face handling and consultation, in order to effectively reduce crowds and cut off the spread of the virus. (Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version) 

CNIPA Deploys the Following Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control work and Raises Six Requirements on Practical Implementation - February 14, 2020

CNIPA convened a meeting of the CNIPA Leading Group for Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control on February 02, 2020. Shen Changyu, Commissioner and Secretary of the Leading Party Members’ Group of CNIPA, and the Leader of the CNIPA Leading Group for Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control, chaired the meeting and delivered a speech.

The meeting further conveyed and studied the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions and the decisions and deployments mad by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, listened to the reports from the working groups of the CNIPA Leading Group for Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control, and studied the following work for epidemic prevention and control.

As pointed out by Shen Changyu, the entire staff of CNIPA have earnestly studied and implemented the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions and the decisions and deployments made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and actively worked well on the epidemic prevention and control since the outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia. The CNIPA Leading Group for Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control has been immediately established, to comprehensively arranged and coordinated the overall epidemic prevention and control, successively printed and distributed a number of documents to work well on the epidemic prevention and control and strengthen the patent and trademark service window business management during the epidemic outbreak, and issued in the form of announcements the policies and measures to facilitate the handling of services of patent, trademark and layout designs of integrated circuit affected by the epidemic. All the work has been carried out in an orderly manner.

As for the following epidemic prevention and control work of CNIPA, Shen Changyu has made a clear deployment: First, continue to attach great importance to the epidemic prevention and control, persist in taking it as the most important task at present, further unify the ideas and actions to the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions, and implement strictly the decisions and deployments of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. Second, firmly grasp the basic principles and key points of the epidemic prevention and control, give top priority to the lives and health of cadres and staff members, and strengthen the responsibility, to ensure that the organizational leadership, the personnel, the prevention and control measures, the responsibilities, the publicity and mobilization, and the request for instructions are all in place. Third, based on the actual work of epidemic prevention and control in CNIPA, focus on the current epidemic prevention and control of cadres and staff members during the return journey to work, as well as the information statistics, epidemic investigation, and isolation and protection of them to minimize the risk of epidemic. Fourth, strive to minimize the impact of the epidemic on business operations, and arrange the patent and trademark acceptance window services during the epidemic outbreaks on the premise of good epidemic prevention and control, to promote the safe and orderly implementation of various tasks.

The attendees of the meeting included all the members of the Leading Party Members’ Group of CNIPA, the relevant responsible comrades from the Discipline Inspection and Supervision Team of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Administration of Supervision at the State Administration for Market Regulation, and the responsible comrades from the Patent Office of CNIPA, as well as the relevant members of the CNIPA Leading Group for Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control.(Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version) 

CNIPA Making Active Efforts to Curb the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus - February 10, 2020

On January 25, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held a meeting on the prevention and control of the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, chaired the meeting and delivered an important address. The meeting made further study, deployment and mobilization on issues especially related to the treatment of patients. CNIPA earnestly studies and puts into practice the principles from General Secretary Xi Jinping’s major address and the decisions and deployment of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to make active efforts to curb the pneumonia outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. Shen Changyu, Commissioner and Secretary of the Leading Party Members’ Group of CNIPA, made clear requirements on related work.

Shen Changyu pointed it out that since the outbreak of the pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, General Secretary Xi Jinping has been paying very close attention to it as he held multiple meetings, heard many reports and made important instructions on the matter. All these have highlighted the people-centered development thinking and the strong political responsibility, which have provided fundamental principles for comprehensive epidemic prevention and control and are of great guiding significance. The whole staff of CNIPA should earnestly study and put into practice the principles from General Secretary Xi Jinping’s major address, develop still greater consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment, foster stronger confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics and resolutely uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and resolutely uphold the Party Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership. They should thoroughly grasp the importance and urgency of the work, keep in mind and put into practice the principles from General Secretary Xi Jinping’s major address, give top priority to epidemic prevention and control and make all-out efforts to implement the decisions and deployment of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to guarantee life safety and health of the whole staff.

Shen Changyu stressed that when an epidemic breaks out, a command is issued. It is our responsibility to prevent and control it. The organizational leadership on the epidemic prevention and control work of the whole bureau should be strengthened. A sound bureau-level leading group should be established to make well-planned prevention and control schemes and related emergency plans to respond to various cases better. Comprehensive support and educational guidance should be strengthened to improve the ideological understanding of both cadres and staff of the whole bureau, help them fully realize the epidemic situation, learn the protection knowledge and protect themselves well. Scientific prevention and control and accurate measures are required to thoroughly grasp the movements of the whole staff and complete related information statistics. A “daily report” system should be well implemented on epidemic monitoring, checking and early warning to ensure early detection, early reporting, early isolation and early treatment. Meetings and activities should be reduced as much as possible to avoid crowds, and body temperature screening and disinfection in public areas should be done well. They should encourage people to handle businesses online to reduce population flow and earnestly study and properly handle patent and trademark matters influenced by the epidemic. At the same time, they should also carry out related patent analysis around epidemic prevention and control and offer reasonable suggestions to help to win the battle against the novel coronavirus epidemic. The Patent Examination Cooperation Hubei Center of the Patent Office of CNIPA should lay emphasis on epidemic prevention and control work according to CNIPA’s deployment and local requirements. 

It is learnt that CNIPA has promptly established its Leading Group for Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control, with Shen Changyu as the director and other bureau-level leaders and patent office principals as vice directors. It includes the Comprehensive Group, Business Group and Press Group to make overall plans and coordinate the whole bureau in epidemic prevention and control work. Gan Shaoning, member of Leading Party Members’ Group and Deputy Commissioner of CNIPA, made specific arrangements on related work, asking staff at different levels to put into practice their responsibilities and actualize various measures in a detailed way in the battle against the epidemic. (Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version).

Announcement of the State Intellectual Property Office
Read the announcement here.

India

Indian Copyright Office

Copyright Hearings Delayed
All hearings related to copyright matters scheduled from March 17, 2020 to March 31, 2020 have been adjourned until further notice. India Copyright Office Notice March 2020

Indian Patent Office (DPIIT)

Cancellation of Hearings (03/23/2020)
In the wake of wide spread pandemic of Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) and lockdown situation, all the hearings in Patent Office through video Conferences scheduled between 23rd March 2020 and 31st March 2020 stands cancelled. Further dates of rescheduled hearings shall be communicated shortly.
Extension of Time for Filing (Trademarks)

In view of the concern raised by the stakeholders relating to submission of document in time in prevailing conditions, attention has been drawn towards Sec. 131 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and Rules 109 & 110 of Trade Marks Rules, 2017 in regard to extension of time. Accordingly the applicant can file request for extension of time (now or after situation becomes normal) and such request will be consider by the Registrar in accordance to law.

Supreme Court of India

Cognizance of extension of limitation - March 23, 2020

Israel

Israel Patent Office (ILPO)

Clarifications regarding ILPO operation - March 25, 2020

Following the Public Announcement dated March 22, 2020 regarding ILPO operation until 1.5.2020, we hereby clarify the following:

1. In light of the time limit set in Section 90 of the Patents Law, 5727 – 1967 for registration of a pledge on a patent in the Register, the ILPO will continue to provide this service.

2. According to Section 1.3 of Commissioner Circular 030/2014 – General, Patent Attorney trainees are allowed a 30 days' period of absence in each training year, apart from the exceptions specified in the Circular.

We hereby clarify that an unpaid leave may be included in the 30 days' period. Patent Attorney trainees who were placed in an unpaid leave will note that fact in the Reports filed with the ILPO. If necessary and as long as the State of Emergency continues, the ILPO will consider additional relieves.

ILPO Operations

From the initial corona epidemic outbreak, the ILPO has been functioning under its regular framework (with majority of its employees working from home).

On March 21st, 2020 the Israeli government approved an Emergency Regulation (expansion of the agreement of vacation leave for the public sector due to the new Corona virus) 2020-5780 and the Emergency Regulation (limiting the amount of employees in the workplace in order to minimize the spread of the new Corona virus) 2020-5780 (page 820, ordinance booklet 8405, 22.3.2020).

As a result of these regulations and according to the decision of the management of the Ministry of Justice, the ILPO workforce was reduced to approximately half. These regulations come into force starting today, 22.3.2020. They are to remain in effect, as of now, until 16.4.2020. Read more.

 

 

South America

Brazil

National Council of Justice

Resolution No. 318 of 05/07/2020

National Institute of Industrial Property

INPI lança projeto sobre tecnologias ligadas ao COVID-19 – March 27, 2020

Diante da pandemia causada pelo novo coronavírus, o INPI criou o projeto  “Observatório de Tecnologias Relacionadas ao COVID-19”, com o objetivo de divulgar as tecnologias que possam contribuir no enfrentamento da situação dessa emergência global.

Além das inovações relativas ao combate ao novo coronavírus, também estão sendo divulgadas notícias sobre iniciativas ligadas ao tema e financiamentos para pesquisa e produção de inovações e para projetos com viés socioeconômico.

O INPI destaca ainda a possibilidade de utilização do trâmite prioritário de exame de pedidos de patentes de médias e pequenas empresas e de instituições de ciência e tecnologia, com destaque para aqueles pedidos feitos pelo Ministério da Saúde para processos e produtos farmacêuticos, equipamentos e/ou materiais de uso em saúde considerados estratégicos para o Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS).

Acesse aqui a página do projeto.

Esclarecimentos sobre a Portaria nº 120, que trata da suspensão dos prazos – March 27, 2020

Diante da epidemia do novo coronavírus, o INPI vem adotando medidas que visam a manter as atividades do Instituto com qualidade e sem prejuízo aos usuários. Nesse sentido, foi adotada a suspensão dos prazos entre os dias 16/03 e 14/04/2020. Primeiramente, é importante dizer que a medida está amparada no artigo 67 da Lei nº 9.874/99, que regula o processo administrativo no âmbito da Administração Pública Federal, e pela Portaria INPI PR nº 120, de 16 de março deste ano.

Dessa forma, seguem alguns esclarecimentos sobre a iniciativa do Instituto para sanar as dúvidas dos usuários. Um dos pontos diz respeito à extensão da Portaria. Ela se aplica a todos os processos em trâmite no INPI, independentemente de sua natureza. Portanto, os prazos estão suspensos para todos os casos.

A Portaria implica também a paralisação da contagem dos prazos que estiverem em curso, que voltarão a fluir pelo tempo remanescente ao fim do período de suspensão. Ou seja, a contagem do prazo será retomada de onde havia parado.

Assim, no caso da Portaria INPI PR nº 120, os prazos retornarão a transcorrer a partir do dia 15 de abril de 2020. Isso não significa que vencerão no dia 15 as publicações ocorridas no período da suspensão, nem os prazos que já estavam em curso na época da edição da Portaria.

Esclarecemos ainda que o uso da suspensão de prazo é opcional. Não há qualquer impedimento, por exemplo, de o usuário peticionar no INPI, por meio dos sistemas on-line, a fim de cumprir uma exigência, ainda que o prazo esteja suspenso. Neste caso, a Administração dará prosseguimento ao processo normalmente.

Em resumo, o fim da suspensão terá duas hipóteses na contagem de prazos:

a)    Os prazos em curso na data da edição da Portaria voltarão a contar pelo prazo remanescente;

b)    Os prazos que tiverem início no período abarcado pela suspensão iniciarão a sua contagem a partir do dia 15/04.

Reiteramos que a intenção da Portaria INPI PR nº 120 é facilitar os atos dos requerentes junto ao INPI neste momento excepcional que o Brasil e o mundo estão atravessando.

Secretariat of Copyright and Intellectual Property

Orientações para os projetos culturais no momento de alerta do Covid-19 – March 16, 2020

O Brasil e demais países enfrentam um ambiente de disseminação do vírus Covid-19. As medidas de precaução e combate do Coronavírus são definidas pelas autoridades públicas de tal forma a evitar o agravamento do quadro.

Diante das ameaças de contaminação, a rotina no país foi alterada, assim como a circulação de indivíduos, o mercado financeiro e a produção econômica. No Brasil, estados e municípios as ações respeitam as individualidades e especificidades de cada região.

A Secretaria Especial da Cultura está à disposição para auxiliar o setor cultural diante da ameaça de disseminação do Coronavírus (Covid-19) e em meio às medidas adotadas no âmbito dos governos federal, dos estados, do Distrito Federal e dos municípios. É importante que os produtores culturais documentem suas ações neste momento.

A orientação se refere sobretudo aos projetos culturais, que têm recursos provenientes da Lei de Incentivo à Cultura.

As ações que sofrerem impactos em razão do Covid-19 e das diretrizes de estados e municípios devem ser devidamente documentadas, fundamentadas e ajustadas sempre que possível para que danos e efeitos possam ser mitigados, observando-se as especificidades de cada expressão cultural.

A fundamentação e documentação devem ser incluídas no material que evidencie a restrição da execução do projeto, tal qual o aprovado. Para o ajuste necessário, a orientação é seguir as diretrizes de acessibilidade e democratização de acesso previstas na Instrução Normativa em vigor.

A Secretaria Especial de Cultura aguarda o desenrolar dos acontecimentos para que novas medidas sejam implementadas, mantendo sempre aberto o canal de diálogo com o Setor.

Assessoria de Comunicação
Secretaria Especial da Cultura

Paraguay

Corte Suprema de Justicia Cornavirus Update
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