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Patent Office Updates You Need to Know (September 21, 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 Supreme Court has announced that it will hear all oral arguments scheduled for the October session by telephone conference.  A live audio feed will be provided to the media pool and a transcript of oral arguments posted on the Court’s website the day after oral arguments.

  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced a COVID-19 deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program.  Director Iancu has released a blog post outlining the Office’s transition to all-virtual hearings on September 18, 2020.

  • The European Patent Office (EPO) will begin to use Zoom videoconference for certain oral proceedings in oppositions. This testing will proceed as part of the EPO’s pilot program for oral proceedings. This technical development will allow more cases to be concluded and thereby contribute to greater legal certainty.

  • The EPO is now asking all visitors to abstain from visiting if they have recently visited a high risk area.  If they have been to a high risk area, they will only be allowed entry if they confirm having had a negative COVID-19 test result from at least five days after they left the high risk area. Earlier tests cannot be accepted. Visitors will be required to sign a declaration of the areas visited in the two weeks prior to their planned visit to the Office.

  • Australian IP Office (IP Australia) has extended certain relief measures through October 31.  Customers affected by the Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria are encouraged to contact the Office. 

  • The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) will hold the 2020 Taiwan Innotech Expo—the first major international exhibition to be held in-person since the COVID-19 outbreak began—from September 24-26 at the Taipei World Trade Center. 

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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