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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (October 12, 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. Supreme Court will hear all oral arguments scheduled for the November and December sessions by telephone conference and will provide a live audio feed to the media.  The Court building remains open for official business only and is closed to the public until further notice. 

  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a report on artificial intelligence and intellectual property policy on October 6, 2020. The report catalogs the agency's commitment to keeping pace with emerging technologies. See the full report online. For more information, see the USPTO's Artificial Intelligence webpage.

  • The USPTO Deputy Director Laura Peter discussed how the USPTO has spurred innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic at the Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund Patent Event. Click here for more on the initiatives addressed (extending patent and trademark filing deadlines, providing the option for early publication of COVID-related applications; starting the Patents 4 Partnership platform that lists COVID-related patents/applications that are available for licensing; creating a COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program for patents and trademarks for COVID-19 related applications, and making electronic filing available for almost all filings).

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has released its Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020: “Who Will Finance Innovation?,” which discusses, in part, financing of innovations  by investigating the evolution of financing mechanisms for entrepreneurs and other innovators, in the context of the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19.  The report can be found here.

  • The Australian IP Office has reiterated to users that its "streamlined process" for extension of time requests is now available. Since April 22, 2020, the registry has allowed customers impacted by COVID-19 to submit a request for extension of time for various IP procedures. Such an extension is free-of-charge and can be for up to three months. These arrangements will be available until at least October 31, 2020.

  • The Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) launched the initiative of the Intellectual Property Respect Officer in the presence of the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Muhammad Al-Swailem, a number of the Authority’s leaders and 70 representatives of government agencies that are partners in implementing the initiative. SAIP electronic services are continuing to complete all transactions remotely.

  • 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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