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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (January 25, 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 U.S. Supreme Court will hear all oral arguments scheduled for the February session by telephone conference in the same format used for the previous telephonic arguments. More information is available here.

  • The Australian Patent Office released information on submitting extensions of time and fee waiver requests for applicants impacted by COVID-19. The measure is free-of-charge and no additional written explanation is required. More information is available here.

  • The European Patent Office (EPO) and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) announced that the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program between the two offices became permanent on January 6, 2021. More information is available here.

  • The Portuguese IP Office (INPI) announced that, due to a new state of emergency, the registry is officially set in a digital services mode. Therefore, going forward, it requests users to either contact the agency by phone or email.

  • The South African IP Office (CIPC) has notified users that its service centers will be closed until January 29, 2021. All services remain available through the registry's online channels, notes CIPC acting commissioner Bathabile Kapumha. 

  • 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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