On May 4, 2020, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) issued on its website an announcement clarifying how patent or trademark applicants may seek COVID-19 related deadline relief. This is the second announcement TIPO made for this purpose since January 2020.

The gist of the May 4 Announcement is as follows.

1. Regarding Statutory Deadlines

In the May 4 Announcement, TIPO reiterates that "a request for restoration (reinstatement) of right/claim is to be reviewed leniently yet on a case-by-case basis if the delay of statutory deadline is caused by the COVID-19 pandemic." However, merely filing a statement asserting the delay is caused by the pandemic is not enough. The applicant needs to "submit supporting document" showing the cause of the delay, as well as fulfilling any and all actions that should have been fulfilled within the delayed deadline.

The said restoration relief is also obtainable where "the delay occurs because the pandemic has affected the timely communication between the applicant and his/her attorney." Likewise, submission of evidence is required. However, a restoration request of this sort may be reviewed less leniently.

2. Regarding Deadlines Designated by TIPO

According to the May 4 Announcement, a COVID-19 related delay of designated deadline will be deemed as being cured if the applicant fulfills, before the TIPO renders a formal ruling, the action that should have been fulfilled within the delayed deadline.

Further, if the applicant anticipates a COVID-19 related delay of the designated deadline, he/she is allowed to request for extension with submission of supporting evidence. Again, TIPO will review such a request "leniently yet on a case-by-case basis." While the length of extension is one month as a rule of thumb, a longer extension is possible upon a showing of necessity supported by evidence.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.