COVID-19 IP Report

GLOBAL IP OFFICE UPDATES

As of 04.06.20

To help you to manage your IP portfolio effectively, we’re closely monitoring releases from the Global IP Office Network, and sharing extended deadlines and updates as they are published.

Disclaimer:  This is not legal advice. The position taken by IP offices is changing daily, so professional advice should be taken before any reliance is placed on this information.

Click to download >> 
Updates At A Glance

Contacts

For more information, please contact Gordon Stark, Tom Gibb or your local Murgitroyd office.

Gordon Stark 2

Gordon Stark

Chief Operations Officer

Dr Thomas Gibb

Head of Professional Practice

Countries where Murgitroyd acts directly:

Austria
All open official time limits in proceedings before the Patent Office (e.g. deadlines for comments on notices) will be extended ex officio by a further two months without the need to apply for a further extension separately. All other deadlines resulting directly from the law (e.g. for filing appeals or for paying annuity and renewal fees) cannot be extended.

Belgium
All requests for the extension of a time limit will be considered as favourably as possible.

BENELUX
•  From now until the end of the imposed public restrictions in the Benelux countries, BOIP will not withdraw any requests or procedures because a given deadline has not been met.
•  After this period has ended, an additional period of one month will be granted for all requests and proceedings for which the time limits have expired or which are less than one month at that time. This month will be counted from the moment that there are no longer any limitations in society in the Benelux countries. BOIP will set a date for this in due course and communicate it by means of a new communication.

EPO
•  Deadlines expiring on or after 15 March 2020 extended to 17 April 2020.
•  Includes the deadlines for payment of renewal fees, but excludes the deadlines for filing divisionals and making final submissions before oral proceedings.
•  Oral proceedings will not be held in the premises of the Boards of Appeal until 30 April 2020.
•  All oral proceedings in examination and opposition proceedings scheduled until 17 April 2020 are postponed until further notice unless they have already been confirmed to take place by means of videoconferencing.
•  Oral proceedings before examination divisions where the summons is notified on or after 02 April 2020 are to be held by videoconference.

EUIPO
All time limits expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020, that affect all parties before the Office, extended to 1 May 2020. This includes statutory deadlines such as the deadline to oppose a third party trademark and the priority period. The extension does not include time limit for appealing matters to the General Court.

Finland
•  The office will take into account the exceptional situation caused by coronavirus when considering deadline extensions fro trademark and design matters.
•  A fee must be paid for each extension request.

France
All deadlines expiring during the period of 12 March 2020 to 1 month after the end of the health emergency situation are postponed to:
•  one month after the end of this period if the initial deadline was one month and
•  two months after the end of this period if the initial deadline was at least two months.
This postponement applies to:  the deadlines to file an opposition related to a trademark, to pay a renewal fee for a patent, to renew a trademark or to extend a design or a utility model and to obtain the corresponding grace period, to file an appeal, to file third party observations, and to file a response to a notification from the French Patent Office.
The postponement does not apply to:  the priority deadlines for filing a PCT application, the deadlines for paying the filing fee for a French patent application, the deadlines for filing a Complementary Protection Certificate.

Germany
•  All deadlines in prosecution set by the GPTO are extended till 4 May 2020.
•  Deadlines set by law cannot be extended by the Office. Re-establishment of rights requests are possible for such deadlines if it can be shown that the deadline was missed without any fault (vs. showing all due care under normal circumstances) on part of the person that missed the deadline.
•  Scheduled hearings and oral proceedings are cancelled. According notifications will be sent for each case. No new hearings or oral proceedings will be summoned under the given circumstances.
•  It is not guaranteed that international design applications can be forwarded to the WIPO in the compulsory time limits such that the GPTO recommends to file them with WIPO directly. Generally, there is a delay in processing paper mail and telefax such that the GPTO recommends to file electronically.
•  There will be a delay in issuing certificates such as priority documents. Therefore, these documents should be requested a early as possible.

Ireland
Deadlines extended to 30 March 2020.

Italy
Deadlines suspended from 23 February to 15 April 2020. The suspension does now apply to the deadlines for opposition procedures relating to the registration of trademarks. The suspension does not apply to the deadlines for trademark appeals.

The Netherlands
•  The use of online filing for all documents is encouraged.
•  Will consider the special circumstances of COVID-19  when reviewing restoration requests if a deadline is missed.

Norway
•  For patents, designs and trade marks, extensions of at least two months will be granted for people affected by COVID-19. Extensions are only available for deadlines set by the NIPO.
•  The extension must be requested before expiry of the original deadline. Where re-establishment is required, it will be sufficient to state briefly that not meeting the specific deadline was not deliberate, and that it was due to Covid-19. In such cases, the NIPO will then take this into account without any further questions.

Switzerland (and unitary Swiss-Liechtenstein patents)
Time limits set by the office with an end date between 21 March 2020 and 19 April 2020 will now expire on 20 April 2020. Statutory time limits or those set by the office stipulated in days are suspended from 21 March 2020 until 19 April 2020. These time limits will start running again on 20 April 2020. Time limits expiring after 19 April 2020 are unaffected.

UK
•  All days from 24 March 2020 until further notice are declared to be interrupted days.
•  Any deadline that falls on an interrupted day will be extended until the UKIPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period.
•  No further physical hearings will be booked or take place until 1 June 2020. Those with physical hearings already booked before that date are being contacted if their arrangements need to change.
•  For services that are not available online, the UKIPO has created an email address called paperformcontingency@ipo.gov.uk which can be used instead of faxing, or posting documents.

Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Sweden, Liechtenstein (for standalone designs and trademarks), The Netherlands
No change

Other countries:

Afghanistan
•  IP offices closed.
•  All deadlines before the office from 28 March 2020 to 18 April 2020 extended to 19 April 2020.

Albania
Applications and requests should be submitted electronically.

Algeria
•  The office is operating limited hours.
•  A grace period of one month for meeting deadlines will be available once the office resumes normal operation.

Andorra
All deadlines suspended from 18 March 2020 until further notice.

Angola
•  The Patent and Trademark Office has suspended operations from 27 March 2020 for 15 days.
•  The deadlines for the practice of acts contained in BPI No. 12/2019, 1/2020 and 2/2020, is suspended from 27 March 2020 for 15 days and will be automatically extended by an equal period of time, unless otherwise specified.
•  The deadlines for filing documents are suspended from 24 March 2020 for a period of 15 days, automatically extended for an equal period of time, unless otherwise specified.

Argentina
•  All deadlines suspended from 12 March 2020 to 12 April 2020.  All running terms can be complied with as of April 13, 2020 using the remainder of the term that was running as of March 12, 2020.
•  All new filings with priority due dates falling within the postponement term can also be completed on April 13, 2020.

Australia
•  Where an applicant cannot carry out an action within time due to the COVID-19 outbreak an extension of time may be available. Requests for extensions of time will need to be made in the normal way, accompanied where required by a declaration setting out how the COVID-19 outbreak interfered with responding in time. Requests for waiver or refund of the fee for the extension of time will be considered on a case by case basis.
•  Future hearings will be conducted by video conference, telephone or written submission. For parties who have scheduled face-to-face hearings, IP Australia are in the process of making contact regarding the options. Where travel and overnight stays are required, Examiners of Plant Breeders Rights will not be conducting the examination of field trials. All PBR applicants and Qualified Persons with field trials that are due for examination in 2020 should contact the PBR Office to determine possible alternative options including postponement.

Azerbaijan
•  The patent office is closed until 29 April 2020.
•  All due dates during the closure postponed until 30 April 2020.

Bolivia
Patent and trademark office closed until 04 April 2020.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Courts are only working on urgent matters, all other sessions postponed.

Brazil
All deadlines suspended from 16 March to 14 April 2020, with usual operation from 15 April 2020.

Bulgaria
All court hearings postponed until after 13 April 2020.

Canada
Patent, trademark and industrial design deadlines extended to 01 May 2020.

Chile
Extensions of deadlines in cases where it is now impossible to comply due to impediments. Where powers of attorney are required, deadlines for submission will be extended and documents will be accepted electronically if the original is supplied after request at a later date.

China
All official deadlines except for:
•  the time limit for claiming priority;
•  the grace period after public disclosure;
•  the time limit for bringing a law suit for patent infringement; and
•  the expiry of patent rights can be restored if they are missed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the applicant’s, patentee’s or patent attorney’s location.

Colombia
Judicial deadlines suspended until 30 April 2020.

Djibouti
•  All operations of the office suspended until further notice.
•  All deadlines during the period operation of the office are suspended will be extended until the office reopens for business.

Dominican Republic
All legal terms granted to individuals are extended to 16 April 2020.

EAPO (Eurasia)
•  The office is closed from 28 March 2020 to 05 April 2020, with all time limits falling in this period suspended until 06 April 2020.
•  Documents that must be filed in original on paper can be submitted electronically, with the paper original due within one month of restrictions being lifted.

Ecuador
Deadlines previously suspended until 31 March 2020, which may be extended.

El Salvador
All legal terms suspended until 22 April 2020.

Egypt
•  The Patent and Trademark Office has suspended all operations until 10 April 2020.
•  The Egyptian courts have suspended all hearings until 15 April 2020.

Ethiopia
•  The Patent and Trademark Office has suspended all operations until further notice.
•  All deadlines falling during the period of suspension extended until 20 April 2020.

Georgia
All court hearings postponed until further notice.

Guatemala
IP offices and courts closed until further notice.

Honduras
IP offices and courts closed until further notice.

Hong Kong
Deadlines that fall due in the period 23 March 2020 to 05 April 2020 will be extended to 06 April 2020.

Hungary
Court hearings suspended from 15 March 2020, proceedings continuing in cases where hearings are not necessary.

India
All deadlines for the completion of acts, the filing of documents and replies or the payment of fees during the period of lockdown commencing 24 March 2020 are extended to 15 April 2020.

Indonesia
•  Where deadlines can be met by on-line filing (i.e. new applications and requests for substantive examination for patent applications that were filed online), deadlines remain unchanged.
•  The office accepts late filing of any documents due in March or April 2020.
•  Deadlines for appeal and the payment of renewal fees extended until 21 April 2020.

Iraq
Activities of IP Offices suspended until 19 April 2020.

Israel
Failure to meet deadlines for actions initiated by the office due to the Coronavirus may well be excused as beyond the control of the applicant and attorney. Where applicants have missed a deadline due to Coronavirus, they should request an extension alongside their reasons for missing the deadline. Due dates for pending proceedings before the court of the authority are postponed until 1.5.2020.

Japan
•  A relief procedure has been introduced whereby if an applicant misses a deadline due to COVID-19, the applicant may make written submissions to request the office accepts belated submissions.
•  The office will consider such requests on a case by case basis.

Jordan
The Patent and Trademark Office will remain closed until 14 April 2020.

Kuwait
Patent and trademark office has suspended operations until 12 April 2020.

Laos
•  The office has been closed from 01 April 2020 until further notice.
•  Any new filings, requests, responses, appeals and litigation in respect of IP disputes shall be temporarily suspended until the office reopens.
•  Any deadlines which fall within the period the office is closed will be extended by the same length of time the office is closed.

Lebanon
A state of emergency is declared and all government offices are closed until further notice.

Libya
All courts, the trademark office, and the patent office in Libya are suspended until further notice.

Malaysia
•  International trademark filings through the Madrid system are suspended until further notice.
•  Trademark renewals expiring between 27 December 2019 and 29 April 2020 will be extended to 30 April 2020.
•  Patent renewal fees falling between 18 March 2020 and 14 April 2020 extended to April 30, 2020.
•  The deadline for the payment of relevant patent renewal fees and deadlines set by the office extended to 30 April 2020.
•  The deadline for manual filings related to priority claims extended, with the office recommending filing on 15 April 2020.
•  Hearing sessions for trademarks, patents, and industrial designs scheduled during the period of the Movement Control Order have been postponed and will be rescheduled.

Mexico
Patent and trademark deadlines suspended from 24 March 2020 to 19 April 2020.

Moldova
All deadlines are suspended until the state of emergency in Moldova is lifted.

Morocco
Local deadlines suspended from 24 March 2020 until further notice.

Nepal
All deadlines between 24 March 2020 and 04 April 2020 extended to 05 April 2020.

New Zealand
If circumstances related to COVID-19 have affected you or are affecting your ability to respond by a deadline, you may request IPONZ for an extension of time to meet that deadline. IPONZ will assess extension of time requests on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria
•  IP office closed for 14 days during lockdown, with extensions of time put in place.
•  New filings can still be completed online during the lockdown period.

North Macedonia
Most court hearings suspended until further notice. Deadlines not extended at present.

Oman
All legal deadlines for IP cases and the submission of supporting documents are suspended as of 29 March 2020.

Pakistan
Intellectual property office will remain closed until further notice. All deadlines extended until the end of the closure period. All hearings relating to trademark and copyright matters have been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course.

Panama
Deadlines previously suspended until 31 March 2020, which may be extended.

Paraguay
Patent and trademark office closed until 27 March 2020.

Peru
•  Deadlines suspended until 06 May 2020.
•  Online filing services remain available.

Philippines
Deadlines falling from 16 March 2020 to 14 April 2020 are extended by 45 days from their respective due dates.

Poland
Oral hearings will not be taking place at the patent office until further notice.

Portugal
•  The IP Office has suspended deadlines from 12 March 2020 until further notice.
•  A signature is no longer required for online services.

Puerto Rico
Deadlines suspended until 15 April 2020.

Romania
Courts closed until 01 May 2020, with deadlines postponed to after 01 May 2020.

Russia
Urgent court cases considered by video conference. All other court hearings postponed until after 10 April 2020.

Saudi Arabia
All deadlines related to office actions, filing, the payment of grant fees and renewal fees are extended until 01 May 2020.

South Africa
Patent Office closed until 01 May 2020, with deadlines extended until 04 May 2020.

South Korea
•  Designated deadlines falling between 31 March 2020 and 29 April 2020 extended to 30 April 2020.
•  This excludes the deadlines prescribed by law such as those for for national phase entry, requesting substantive examination and responding to a final rejection.

Spain
Suspension of deadlines in all administrative proceedings with the Spanish PTO as of March 14, 2020.

Sri Lanka
IP Office closed until further notice.

Sudan
New filings accepted, all other services suspended until 19 April 2020.

Syria
•  The Patent and Trademark Office has suspended operations until further notice.
•  All deadlines to be met during the suspended period are extended until the office reopens.

Taiwan
Any patent or trademark applicant who fails to comply within a statutory time period due to the COVID-19 may file a request for reinstatement. Such cases will be determined leniently.

Thailand
Deadlines can be extended if it can be shown that COVID-19 has directly affected the ability to handle IP prosecution.

Tunisia
•  The Patent and Trademark Office has suspended operations until 06 April 2020.
•  All deadlines are automatically extended to 06 April 2020.

Ukraine
Scheduled court hearings postponed apart from exceptional cases. Meetings with applicants and representatives cancelled until further notice.

USA
•  A person who is unable to meet patent or trademark related deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a waiver of certain deadlines due between 27 March 2020 and 30 April 2020.
•  The USPTO is waiving petition fees in certain situations for customers impacted by the coronavirus.
•  The USPTO has waived the need for an original handwritten signature in all cases.

Venezuela
Deadlines suspended until further notice.

Vietnam
•  The Office has been closed from 01 April 2020 to at least 15 April 2020.
•  Any deadlines which fall from 30 March 2020 to 30 April 2020 in relation to procedures for filing trademarks, designs and patent applications shall be automatically extended to 30 May 2020.
•  If an Applicant is prevented from completing an act by COVID-19, the Applicant can also claim force majeure as regulated under Vietnamese law.

 


A message from our CEO

The spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a dramatic impact on the lives of people and businesses across the globe. During this time of concern, Murgitroyd remains focused on protecting the health and well-being of our employees, while continuing to provide the highest levels of service to our clients.

REMOTE WORKING – A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE

For the last 10 years, Murgitroyd has established flexible working practices across our global office network. This initiative that has included extensive home-working experience by our Attorneys and support staff.

Our tried and tested IT infrastructure enables our colleagues to provide the highest levels of seamless service delivery on a remote basis.

We feel fortunate to have this wealth of remote working experience to call upon as it will greatly aid our business continuity plans as well as the ongoing management of our client’s IP needs.

To this end, Murgitroyd has decided to, among other actions, reduce its business travel, hold more external meetings by video-conference, and postpone selected meetings and events. We want our team to be available to serve your needs, whenever and however they arise.

We remain focused on providing you with the excellent service and support you have come to expect, and we thank Clients, Partners and Colleagues for their continued loyalty. We firmly believe the strength of our relationship will ensure we successfully navigate these unprecedented times together.

Sincerely,

Ed Murgitroyd
CEO

Keep up to date with the latest news and legal updates, or learn more about protecting your intellectual property

News & insights
Keep up to date with our latest News and Comment.
Events
View our latest event programme. If you are going or want to go - let us know!
Webinars
Register early for our latest online seminars, experience in-depth presentations on current IP topics - very popular with IP Professionals.

Find an Attorney

Attorneys Enquire Now