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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (December 8, 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 Canadian Patent Office (CIPO) has announced that if the COVID-19 pandemic is preventing or interfering with your ability to act by a deadline, you can request an extension of time under section 47 of the Act, for a period between three to six months. CIPO has also provided guidance on how to request an extension of time when the other side does not consent to the extension of time. More information here.

  • The European Patent Office (EPO) updated information on extensions and interruptions in member states. Effective January 4, 2021, oral proceedings before the Examining and Opposition Divisions will be held remotely. Oral proceedings that cannot be held remotely will be postponed until after September 15, 2021. More information here.

  • The Chinese IP Administration (CNIPA) met with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) discuss long-term cooperation for various projects, including the response to COVID-19.

  • The Australian IP Office (IP Australia) has extended its emergency measures to "streamline extensions of time for most deadlines, with the waiver of most associated fees" until January 31, 2021. The move therefore extends the postponement of deadlines through the holiday period "to give customers more certainty."

  • The Hong Kong IP Office has announced the COVID-19 protection measures that will be in place until at least December 15, 2020. The measures include the public service counter being closed, with a drop-box service open on some days between 9am and 5.45pm. In terms of proceedings before the agency, parties "are encouraged to resolve their disputes by alternative modes including disposal on paper or remote hearings."

  • The Irish IP Office (IPOI) has confirmed that, in line with government recommendations, its public headquarters remains closed to visitors. The IPOI recommends clients to use its e-filing platform.

  • 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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