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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (December 28, 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.  The following are a few recent updates.

As always, a complete list of countries may be found in our Google Document.

Update Highlights

  • The European Patent Office (EPO) has decided, with effect from 4 January 2021, to hold oral proceedings in opposition by videoconference (VICO) in accordance with Article 2 of the Decision of the President of the European Patent Office dated 10 November 2020concerning the modification and extension of the pilot project for oral proceedings by VICO before opposition divisions. Where there are serious reasons preventing the use of VICO in opposition, oral proceedings will be postponed until after 15 September 2021. For further details, see the news item of 10 November 2020 Opposition hearings by VICO – changes in 2021.
  • The Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) has launched a service of issuing business licenses to practice intellectual property activities. The strategic initiative aims to regulate and follow up licenses for intellectual property agents, in addition to developing existing cadres and providing new cadres qualified to practice intellectual property activities and services. The initiative contributes to enhancing investment opportunities.
  • The Secretary of Party Committee and Commissioner of CNIPA, Shen Changyu, has published a signed article titled “Comprehensively Strengthening China's Intellectual Property Protection” providing guidelines for “comprehensively strengthening the intellectual property protection in China in the new era”.
  • Other general closures & deadline extensions have been added to the document.
  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced that nearly 400 applications received prioritized examination under USPTO’s historic COVID-19 relief programs, as of December 28th, 2020.

If you have any patent or trademark questions during this time, do not hesitate to contact us.



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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