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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.
  • The Spanish IP Office (OEPM) has resumed its face-to-face services following a period of restrictions to combat the ongoing pandemic. From 1 October, the OEPM will accept public face-to-face services every weekday from 9am until 2.30pm. Such services will be provided by appointment only.
  • The Japan IP Office(JPO) office has announced that, in light of the country lifting its Covid-related state of emergency on 1 October, it will continue to provide flexible support, as well as continuing to prevent the spread of infection and maintain socio-economic activities. At the office’s main building, temperature checks remain in place, while electronic applications or mail is still recommended for applications (while counter-based applications and viewings will be accepted, these will be limited in number). Elsewhere, the office will also continue to be flexible where applicants find it difficult to complete various procedures within the prescribed time limit. Meanwhile, in principle, face-to-face interview examinations and interview hearings will not be conducted.
  • 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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