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Patent and Trademark 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

  • WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Indicators Report (WIPI) showed that patent and industrial designs filing activity rebounded in 2020, illustrating the resilience of human innovation even amid the dire global health situation.
  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office modified the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program to accept applications until December 31, 2021. Requests that are compliant with the pilot program's requirements and are filed on or before December 31, 2021, will be accepted, even if more than 500 requests have already been approved.
  • IP Australia has taken a hard line stance against trade mark applications containing references to COVID-19. Side stepping the normally lengthy window for overcoming objections, IP Australia is issuing immediate Notices of Intention to Reject trade mark applications for these marks. The Notice of Intention to Reject signals that the Examiner considers there is no further action the filer can take that will convince the Examiner to withdraw the objection, and limits the filer to filing a final response or requesting a hearing  within only two months. 
  • The Russian IP Office (Rospatent) has been working remotely after a rise in Covid-19 cases in the country, WTR understands. According to law firm Sojuz Patent, there has been no official information on possible extension of due dates following the announcement from the Moscow mayor of non-working days and a partial lockdown. However, it is understood that employees at Rospatent continue to work remotely during the usual business hours.
  • The Irish IP Office (IPOI) is closed to the public until further notice, with clients asked to use online e-filing and payment services. "While the IPOI remains unable to facilitate personal callers to its premises until further notice, telephone enquiries are being accepted between 9.30am and 4pm on Monday to Friday," a representative said.
  • 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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