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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (December 14, 2020)

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) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) have announced the launch of the Parallel Patent Grant (PPG) initiative. Under this new worksharing arrangement, IMPI will expedite the grant of a Mexican patent for businesses and individuals already granted a corresponding U.S. patent. More information here.

  • The South African IP Office (CIPC) has confirmed that, in compliance with COVID-19 regulations, its office in Cape Town will be closed to the public "until further notice."

  • The Finnish IP Office (PRH) announced the closure of its customer service point in Helsinki from December 1 to December 18, 2020 due to the COVID-19 situation escalating in that area.  Its online services and telephone services will be running normally.

  • The Slovakian IP Office has launched a program, in partnership with the EUIPO, to provide financial support for SMEs following the impact of the pandemic. The support will include up to 50% of a trademark registration fee or 75% of an audit of intellectual property, with both services combined up to a contribution of €1,500. It is understood a fund of €20 million has been created for the project, which will run from the beginning of 2021 until funds run out.

  • The Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) and China National Intellectual Property (CNIP) Administration signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, on December 2, 2020. The memorandum includes provisions on cooperation in multilateral framework, including WIPO, BRICS, APEC, expansion of cooperation in the field of geographical indications and appellations of origin, information technologies and data exchange, as well as provides for the exchange of experience in the field of patent and trademark examination, staff development and raising public awareness.

  • 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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