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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (May 4, 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 identified in the past month.  However, as always, a complete list of countries may be found in our Google Document.

Update Highlights

  • The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has limited access to the courthouse through May 31, 2021. Requests for access by members of the public must be submitted in writing at least 24 hours ahead of time.
  • The French Patent Office has announced an accelerated examination program for patent applications related to COVID-19.  Applicants must request this accelerated examination within 10 months of filing the applications with the Office, and it applies to patent applications filed as of June 1, 2020.
  • The German Patent Office (DPMA) will allow hearings and oral proceedings to be held in-person beginning June 1, 2021, provided infection rates remain below a safe threshold. Further requirements, such as face masks and keeping to social distancing during the procedure, are also clarified by the DPMA.
  • The Japanese Patent Office (JPO) has published an update on its procedures in light of the state of emergency issued in Tokyo due to a rise in coronavirus infections. JPO will continue to maintain its COVID-19 precautions. Anyone wishing to attend the JPO's main office building will be required to have their temperature checked. 
  • The Australian Patent Office released its annual 2020 intellectual property report which shows the impacts of COVID-19 such as a decrease in the number of patent filings. The report is available here.
  • The Indian IP Office is to extend the period of limitation for all proceedings in light of the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 in India. It follows an order, issued on April 27, 2021, by the Supreme Court of India. The limitation period for IP proceedings began in March 2020, and was due to end on March 14, 2021. However, due to the recent Supreme Court order, the deadlines on all proceedings are extended until further orders are issued.
  • The Finland IP Office (PRH) has confirmed the re-opening of its customer service in Helsinki from May 3, 2021. The premise will be open from Monday to Friday between 12pm and 4.15pm.
  • 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 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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