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Covid-19: Organisation of Intellectual Property Offices

19 March 2020

In this context of sanitary crisis and following guidance from governments, Intellectual Property Offices have taken measures in order to maintain protection of Intellectual Property Rights.

France (INPI) All due dates falling between 12 March and one month after the end of the state of health emergency are extended by one month after the end of this period if the initial deadline was one month and by two months after the end of this period if the initial period was two months or more.
Example: if the end of the state of emergency is declared on 28 April, all the deadlines supposed to end between 12 March and 28 May are postponed to 28 June if the initial deadline was one month, and to 28 July if the initial deadline was two months or more.
This extension applies, in particular, to deadlines for trademark oppositions, patent annuity payments, trademark renewals or design extensions and for benefiting from the relevant grace period, filing an administrative or court appeal, submitting third parties’ observations or responding to a notification from the INPI.
On the other hand, this does not affect priority deadlines for international extensions, payment deadlines for patent applications or deadlines for filing a supplementary protection certificate.
EUIPO Extension of all time limits expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 to 1 May 2020.
Such extension applies to all procedural deadlines, including payment of application fees, opposition periods, requests for renewal…Time limits that relate to proceedings before other authorities are not covered by the extension, such as, in particular: the time limit for bringing an action before the General Court against decisions of the Boards of Appeal.The extension has the immediate effect of preventing the deadlines concerned from lapsing when they were originally due. This effect is automatic and affected parties are not required to file a request for extension of the time limit.
WIPO Processing of filed applications remains operational. Remedies available in case of failure to meet time limits due to the pandemic and extension of time limits in case of Office closures.
Suspension of all communication by postal mail until further notice, all PCT-related documents will be transmitted only via e-mail.
EPO Extension of all periods expiring on or after 15 March 2020 to 17 April 2020.
Afghanistan Office closed for three weeks as of 28 March 2020.
AIPO Suspension of procedural deadlines expiring between 18 March – 30 April inclusive until 31 May 2020.
Andorra All deadlines suspended until further notice
Argentina Extension of all time limits to 3 April 2020.
ARIPO (African Organisation) Office remains operational but it is recommended to use online services.
Australia Office remains operational. Requests for extension of time may be available for deadlines missed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Austria Office deadlines in proceedings are ex officio extended by two months.
All deadlines “directly resulting from the law” (eg, deadlines for submitting appeals or for paying annual and protection fees) cannot be extended.
Benelux Suspension of deadlines during the period of public restrictions imposed by the Benelux countries, and thereafter, grant of a month’s grace period.
Brazil Suspension of legal deadlines to 30 March 2020 and administrative deadlines to 14 April 2020.
Canada Extension of all time limits expiring between 16 March and 30 April 2020 to 1 May 2020.
Available via online services.
Chile Available via online services.
China Remedies may be claimed for deadlines missed due to COVID-19.
Columbia Office closed until 31 March 2020. All deadlines falling during this period are postponed to 1 April.
Dominican Republic Extension of all the legal terms granted to individuals until 31 March.
Ecuador Suspension of all deadlines
Egypt Suspension of operations until 8 April 2020.
Ethiopia Suspension of operations until further notice.
Finland Office closed but available via online services. Suspension of deadlines that fall between 16-22 March.
Germany All deadlines extended to 04/05/20 except deadlines directly defined by law.
Guatemala Operations suspended until 31/03/20.
Honduras Operations suspended until 31/03/20.
Hong-Kong Office provides limited services until 29 March.
India Hearings in Patents and Designs matters scheduled on or before 15 April 2020 will be done via Video Conferencing and hearings relating to trademark matters scheduled between 17 March 2020 to 15 April 2020 have been adjourned
Extensions of timelines are available on request.
Indonesia Office closed until 31 March 2020. Online filing system available.
Late filing accepted for any documents due in March 2020.
Iraq Operations suspended until 11 April 2020.
Ireland Office closed but available via online services.
Israel Recordations of assignments and other formalities will be postponed until after 16 April 2020. Extensions of time may be available on request by 1 May 2020 for deadlines missed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Deadlines relating to oppositions, payments of annuities/ renewals fees and grace periods are not covered by the suspension.
All deadlines relating to legal proceedings before the ILPTO are automatically postponed until 1 May 2020.
Italy Suspension of all deadlines with respect to patents, trademarks and designs until 15/04/20.
The titles expiring between 31/01 and 15/04 will remain in force until 15/06/20.
Jordan All operations suspended until 14 April 2020.
Kurdistan Five-day curfew starting 18 March.
Kuwait Office closed until 21/04/20.
Latvia State of emergency until 14 April 2020.
Laos Office closed until 19 April 2020.
Lebanon Operations suspended until 29 March 2020
Libya Office closed until further notice.
Malaysia All deadlines suspended until 14 April 2020.
Mexico Office remains operational. Suspension of all deadlines as of 24 March until 19 April 2020.
Moldovia Deadlines for proceedings before the AGEPI are suspended until the lifting of the country’s state of emergency.
Morocco Office remains operational but online services preferred. Submitting recordals not possible until further notice.
Nepal Office closed until 4 April 2020 and all deadlines extended to 5 April 2020.
Netherlands Office closed, but available via online services. Patent applicants can request for an extension of time or restoration of rights.
New Zealand Office remains operational. Requests for extension of time may be available for deadlines missed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Norway Office closed but available via online services. Deadline extensions for “at least two months” granted for designs and trademarks.
Requests for re-establishment of rights may be available for failure to meet a specific deadline or loses registered rights during this period.
Oman Suspension of all legal deadlines for all IP cases.
Pakistan Office closed from 24 March 2020 to 7 April 2020.
Papua New Guinea Office closed for 14 days as of 24 March 2020 but available via online services.
Peru Extension of all time limits to 12 April 2020 inclusive (State of emergency).
Philippines Extension of all deadlines until 15 April 2020.
Poland Hearings suspended until further notice.
Portugal All deadlines frozen, save for renewal deadlines.
Puerto Rico Suspension of all deadlines between 14 March and 30 March 2020.
Russia
Online services only.
Salvador Deadlines suspended for 30 days renewable if necessary.
Saudi Arabia Office closed for 16 days but available via online services.
Singapore
Extensions of time may be requested.
South Africa Offices closed 25 March 2020 – 30 April 2020. All deadlines that fall within this period will automatically be extended up to and including 01 May 2020.
South Korea Extension of deadlines falling in the period of 31 March-29 April to 30 April. But these ex officio extensions are not applicable to the statutory periods prescribed by patent/trademark laws or treaties.
Spain State of emergency extended to 11 April 2020. All deadlines for pending proceedings are suspended until further notice.
Sudan New filings accepted only; all other services suspended as from 18 March until 31 March.
Syria Operations suspended until further notice.
Sri Lankan Office closed until at least 27 March 2020.
Switzerland Office closed until further notice. Assessment of requests for extensions of time limits on a case-by-case basis and pursuant to national and international law. Extension of two months of the usual time limits followed by a third extension of an appropriate duration for important reasons. This means specifically:

  • Time limits set by the IPI with a specific end date between 21 March and 19 April 2020 will now expire on 20 April 2020.
  • Time limits for the payment of renewal fees and annual fees with a specific end date between 21 March and 19 April 2020 will also now expire on 20 April 2020.
  • Statutory time limits or those set by the IPI that are stipulated in days are suspended until 19 April 2020 and will run again starting 20 April 2020. This also concerns time limits for appeals.

The following time limits are not affected by the suspension:

  • Time limits determined by months or years (e.g. priority periods, the time limit for filing an opposition or for the payment of the opposition fee) are not affected by the suspension.
  • Time limits with a specific end date after 19 April 2020.
  • Time limits for international procedures (PCT, EPC, the Madrid System, the Hague System).
Taiwan Request for reinstatement may be available for deadlines missed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Tunisia Operations and deadlines suspended until 6 April 2020.
Turkey Time limits for administrative and legal proceedings expiring between 13 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 have been suspended until 4 May 2020.
United Kingdom Suspension of all deadlines until further notice (expected on 17 April).
United States Relief available to patent and trademark applicants, patentees and trademark owners affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
A 30-day extension may be granted for deadlines due between 27 March and 30 April for filing certain IP documents and taking certain actions, such as paying fees.
To obtain such extension, users will however need to file a statement claiming that the failure to meet the deadline was due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Venezuela All deadlines postponed until further notice.
Vietnam All procedures for registration of industrial property rights due in the period from 30 March 2020 to 30 April 2020 will be extended to 30 May 2020.

Our staff remains at your disposal for any further information in this regard.

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