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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (December 21, 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 European Patent Office (EPO) has released updated information on conducting remote oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal, available here.

  • The Commissioner of the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) met separately with the European Patent Office (EPO) President, the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) Commissioner, and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) Commissioner to discuss joint efforts to fight against COVID-19 and continued collaboration between the offices.

  • Japanese Patent Office (JPO) has released guidance regarding the need for seals or signatures on exception certificates for loss of novelty due to COVID-19. In short, the certificates do not require a name stamp or signature, if submitted within the appropriate statutory period.  Full guidance is available here.

  • The German Patent and Trademark Office will be closed to visitors from December 24, 2020 to January 1, 2021. The Office has also notified applicants to expect delayed processing of all requests between December 16, 2020 and January 10, 2021.

  • The Hong Kong IP Office has confirmed the emergency arrangements that will be in place from December 16 until 23, 2020. Specifically, its public service counter will be closed during that time period, while its drop-box service for physical documents will be open on December 16, 17, 18, 21, 22 and 23 from 9am until 5:45pm. Furthermore, all filing deadlines that expire on those dates are now extended until December 24, 2020 according to a new notice-of-interruption.

  • The Indian IP Office, Virtual Show Cause Hearings of Trademark Applications scheduled between December 21 and December 23 are adjourned.

  • 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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