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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know

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. 

The following are a few recent updates identified in the past month.  However, as always, a complete list of countries may be found in our Google Document.

Update Highlights

  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced that the fee schedule was updated with the following change, effective June 25: Patent enrollment fees 9030: Request for extension of time in which to schedule examination for registration to practice (non-refundable)–new fee of $115.
  • The Federal Circuit continued its public access restrictions to the National Courts Building complex through August 31, 2021.  The restrictions limit access to only court staff, litigants, witnesses, and any other parties who will be physically present in the courthouse because of their participation in a scheduled hearing that day. Additional 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 United States Copyright Office will be open to the public by appointment only, beginning July 8, 2021. Scheduling an appointment may be done on the Office’s website, here.
  • The Japan Patent Office has announced that it will continue to provide flexible relief.  To prevent the spread of infection, the office asks users to continue to opt for electronic applications (for those who have an electronic certificate) or mail (with registered mail recommended). In-person interview examinations and hearings will not be conducted.
  • The South African IP Office (CIPC) has announced the closure of its Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria offices in an effort to combat a rise in infections in the country. The registry confirmed the closures will be "until further notice" in order to ensure that the office "is in compliance with COVID-19 regulations." 
  • The Zambia IP Office (PACRA) has informed users that it is no longer accepting physical correspondence for the foreseeable future, aiming "to mitigate the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic." Therefore, any IP documents and/or filings must be sent by email to: correspondence@pacra.org.zm
  • The Slovenia IP Office has moved back to "normal operations" following the implementation of infection reduction measures, as of June 16, 2021. Nonetheless, the office continues to recommend that clients use its online services. For those that require in-person services, users must confirm an appointment in advance via email at sipo@uil-sipo.si, or phone (01 620 3100) during usual business hours.
  • 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.

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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 vorys.com/coronavirus

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