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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (November 2, 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 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), along with all intellectual property offices operating in G20 countries, released a joint statement at the Global Intellectual Property Challenges Forum, pledging "enhanced cooperation", in part to support each other during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As part of this cooperation, agencies will share practices and operations that have proven successful during the crisis.

  • The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Executive Director participated in the IP20+ Global Intellectual Property Challenges Forum to establish priorities in response to global pandemics and emergencies, such as harmonizing IP operation measures, sharing IP policies, and disseminating IP knowledge, on October 26, 2020.

  • The EUIPO Executive Director participated in the ID5 Annual Meeting where the heads of the five largest IP offices, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), met to discuss cooperative initiatives to benefit applicants in the field of design registration, on October 29-30, 2020.

  • Effective October 30, the French Intellectual Property Office (INPI) is closed to the public until further notice.

  • The Bulgarian IP Office (BPO) has announced new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. Specifically, only one person is now allowed to enter the agency's Center for Administrative Services at a time, with further customers required to wait outside the building. Furthermore, it appears that the offering of 'general information' at the Center is temporarily suspended.

  • The heads of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the USPTO agreed to continue developing new collaborative initiatives to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The full statement is available here.

  • The Commissioner of the Chinese National Intellectual Property Association (CNIPA) spoke at the Rospatent International Conference and discussed measures the office implemented to better respond to COVID-19, including setting up “green channels” for epidemic related patent and trademark applications, expanding telecommuting, requiring less submission materials, and exempting certain late fees and  annual payments. 

  • 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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