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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (February 1, 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.

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

Update Highlights

  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced relief for delays in filing certified copies of foreign priority applications due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The full text of the notice is available on the Patent Related Notices page of the USPTO website.

  • The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has announced that the pilot initiative for expedited examination of trademark applications related to COVID-19 will continue until August 31, 2021, or until the Registrar deems appropriate. Details on eligibility and how to file a request can be found in the requests for expedited examination practice notice.
  • Concerning the ongoing Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program between the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil (INPI), the number of PPH requests that an applicant has been allowed to file with the INPI has been limited to one per month. However, from January 1, 2021, an applicant will be allowed to file one PPH request per week with the INPI. More details on the PPH program can be found here.
  • The Chilean IP Office (INAPI) has created a new office space in its headquarters to allow face-to-face care "for exceptional cases." Starting January 25, users can access a space on the second floor of the INAPI building that has been specifically set-up for essential procedures. Interested parties must request time in the area by phone, with hours available between 10am and 1pm on weekdays. Some of the procedures that the area can be used for includes delivering priority certificates without an electronic signature, delivering sworn statements without an electronic signature, submitting applications for geographical indications, and submitting collective trademark applications. 
  • The Peru IP Office (Indecopi) has informed users that from January 25, face-to-face services at its headquarters will only be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30am until 1pm. Such services are also only available via a pre-scheduled appointment. Users temperature will be taken when entering the building, and masks are required to be worn at all times.
  • The Hong Kong IP Office has confirmed that its special work arrangements, which includes the closure of its public service counter, will continue until at least January 27, 2021. Starting from January 28, 2021 and until further notice, the Department will resume limited services at the Public Service Counter. More information here.
  • The Czech IP Office has announced that its crisis measures will be extended until at least February 14, 2021. The measures include limited office hours and urging users to only contact the office via written, electronic or telephone options. 
  • 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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