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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (November 23, 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 United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has restricted public access to the National Courts Building complex through January 24, 2021, on November 20, 2020. Requests for access by members of the public may still be submitted. If so, requests must be submitted in writing at least 24 hours ahead of time.
  • The Supreme Court Clerk’s Office has released additional guidance on potential impacts of COVID-19 on operations at the Supreme Court, on November 13, 2020.  Certain categories of documents may be filed electronically, without need for submission of a paper copy: 1) motions for an extension of time under Rule 30.4; 2) waivers of the right to response to a petition under Rule 15.5; 3) blanket consents to the filing of amicus briefs under Rules 37.2(a) and 37.3(a); and 4) motions to delay distribution of a cert petition under the Court’s Order of March 19, 2020.  Hand-delivered filings to the Supreme Court should be delivered to the North Drive on Second Street, until further notice.  Parties are strongly encouraged to send filings by mail or commercial carrier in order to avoid delays associated with hand-delivery. Click here for the full guidance.
  • The European Patent Office (EPO) provided updated guidance to applicants about the procedures and services available for filing and receiving priority documents and certified copies, on November 19, 2020. An overview of the options available to applicants is provided here.
  • The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) management board and budget committee has released information on initiatives to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during COVID-19, including the SME FUND which provides financial support to SMEs that wish to protect and manage their IPRs, on November 19, 2020. 
  • The Australian IP Office (IP Australia) has extended altered office operations through January 31, 2021, including the waiver of fees for certain extensions.
  • 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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