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COVID-19 Patent & Trademark Office Updates

As part of our dedication to helping our clients stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve compiled the following highlights of changes to patent, trademark, and copyright operations around the world.  

As always, a complete list of countries may be found in our Google Document.

Update Highlights

  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced the “Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program” on July 2. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will begin accepting petitions to accelerate resolution of certain ex parte appeals. The required petition fee is $400. The USPTO fee schedule has been also updated on July 1, with an International search (IPAU) fee decrease from $1,483 to $1,341.
  • The USPTO has released additional information on the COVID-19 Trademark Prioritized Examination Program as of June 30.
  • The USPTO extended certain CARES Act relief for small and micro entities from July 1 to September 30, 2020.
  • The European Patent Office (EPO) released information about access to oral proceedings by videoconference before opposition divisions, on July 3. Further, the Boards of Appeal at the EPO will conduct its first live-streamed hearing on July 15. You can register as an observer on the EPO website by July 14.
  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced the end of COVID-19-related RO/IB (Receiving Office/International Bureau of WIPO) extended period for considering PCT applications as withdrawn for failure to pay fees, on July 3. The RO/IB has decided to restart the issuance of Form PCT/RO/117 for failure to pay the required PCT fees as of July 1, 2020.  The RO/IB will nevertheless continue to waive the payment of any applicable late payment fees under PCT Rule 16bis.2 until further notice.
  • The  European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) announced the launch of the “Ideas Powered for Business” hub, which offers free personalized IP services for small and mid-size businesses, on July 1.
  • Other general closures & deadline extensions have been added to the document.

If you have any patent or trademark questions during this time, do not hesitate to contact us.


Vorys COVID-19 Task Force

Vorys attorneys and professionals are counseling our clients in the myriad issues related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  We have also established a comprehensive Coronavirus Task Force, which includes attorneys with deep experience in the niche disciplines that we have been and expect to continue receiving questions regarding coronavirus. Learn more and see the latest updates from the task force at

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