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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (April 12, 2021)

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 ongoing Patent Office updates for each country may be  found in our Google Document. 

Update Highlights

  • The Supreme Court will hear all oral arguments during the April session as well as the oral argument on May 4 by telephone conference.

  • The USPTO has announced the creation of a new category for its Patents for Humanity Program which will recognize inventions that address the COVID-19 pandemic. The award allows applicants to receive accelerated processing for one eligible matter (including utility patent applications and ex parte reexaminations).

  • The  UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has confirmed that starting April 1 its temporary fee changes to support those impacted by COVID-19 have ended. Various fees related to extensions of time and late payments were reduced, but those costs have now returned to their usual fee. All fees are listed on the UKIPO website.

  • The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has launched electronic patent issuance. Clients who have been granted a Canadian patent will now download their documents in electronic format rather than receiving a paper copy.

  • The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that all visitors from abroad must abstain from visiting the EPO if they have recently visited a high risk area, unless they had a negative COVID-19 test on the fifth day or later after leaving the high risk area.  All oral proceedings before the examining and opposition divisions will continue to be held by video conference, without requiring agreement of the parties.

  • The Indian Patent Office has announced that it has extended certain deadlines in patent cases.

  • 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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