Because of the world-wide disruptions caused by the COVID-19 virus, patent and trademark offices around the world have been reacting in a variety of ways such as extending deadlines, waiving fees or ceasing operations all together. Here are some of the changes as of March 17, 2020:
The European Patent Office (EPO) will extend all deadlines for patent applications until April 17, 2020 (see: https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/information-epo/archive/20200315.html).
In addition, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has decided that deadlines/time limits for proceedings that expire between March 9 and April, 30, 2020 will be extended until May 1, 2020 (see: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/news/-/action/view/5644669).
The Spanish IP office (OEPM) announced all deadlines for pending proceedings have been suspended and will resume when the state of emergency or its extensions are over.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced it is waiving petition fees for patent and trademark applicants that are affected by the effects of the coronavirus, however, it cannot offer, without legislation, extension dates or waivers (see: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/relief-uspto-customers-affected-covid-19)
The Ecuadorian Patent and Trademark Office has ceased operations until further notice and has ordered the suspension of the legal terms from March 16th to the 22nd. The judiciary has also suspended its activities and the deadlines applicable to ongoing proceedings.
India has suspended all hearings related to trademarks between March 17th – April 15th. These hearings will be rescheduled eventually, while hearings scheduled for after April 15th will currently go on as scheduled.
The Intellectual Office of the Philippines has announced it will extend deadlines and confirms affected services until April 14th
The Kuwait IP Office has suspended operations until March 26th. However, urgent opposition cases can still be processed as well as online functions such as filings and renewals.
The Saudi IP Office has suspended operations for 16 days from March 16th. Online trademark searches of the Saudi trademark register are not available during the quarantine period.
The Libya IP Office and all courts in the country are closed until further notice.
For more information on the status of IP offices around the world please contact us.