In recent weeks, trademark offices around the world have made announcements and adjustments to their practices in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Many trademark offices extended or suspended deadlines, augmented their online services, and made other accommodations for delayed filings in an effort to ease the burden on the global trademark community. Moreover, as the crisis has continued, many trademark offices have updated their original extensions to allow even more time, and some are reopening operations.
As a service to our clients and colleagues, please find below a compilation of status information as of May 19, 2020, regarding deadline extensions and other matters from trademark offices in various jurisdictions around the world. Seyfarth will endeavor to update this information as needed on a periodic basis as additional new announcements and changes are received.
Should you have any questions about these announcements or the status of any particular trademark matter or situation, please contact us.
Updated May 19, 2020
New Updates: Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru
Please see below for details.
- Canada - Most deadlines that fall between March 16, 2020, and May 29, 2020, are extended until June 1, 2020. This period could be extended. The CIPO is open but customers are advised to expect delays. ( https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr04767.html)
- Mexico - All deadlines falling between March 24, 2020 and May 31, 2020 have been extended to June 1, 2020. ( http://www.impi.gob.mx/cloud/Documents/AI_EX_2020_04_002.pdf)
- United States - Filings for deadlines that fall between March 27 and May 31, 2020, including prosecution deadlines and deadlines to oppose new applications, will be considered timely if filed on or before June 1, 2020, provided that the delay in filing is due to COVID-19. Extensions of time are also available in ongoing Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings for COVID-19-related delays. All face-to-face meetings, including hearings, are suspended until further notice, and the US Patent and Trademark Office has waived fees for reviving abandoned applications or canceled registrations provided that the missed deadline was a result of COVID-19. (https://www.uspto.gov/coronavirus)
- European Union - All deadlines falling between March 9, 2020, and May 17, 2020, have been extended to May 18, 2020. ( https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/news?p_p_id=csnews_WAR_csnewsportlet&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_count=2&journalId=5726800&journalRelatedId=manual/)
- France - All deadlines not expired before March 16, 2020, have been extended by at least four months. ( https://www.inpi.fr/fr/nationales/covid-19-delais-accordes-procedures-examen)
- Germany - All deadlines falling between March 18, 2020, and May 3, 2020, were extended until May 4, 2020. All hearings or oral proceedings scheduled before June 30, 2020, have been cancelled. With that exception, the office now appears to have reopened. ( https://www.dpma.de/english/our_office/publications/news/corona/index.html)
- Ireland - All deadlines falling between March 12, 2020, and June 1, 2020, have been extended until June 2, 2020. ( https://www.ipoi.gov.ie/en/news-events/news-categories-/announcements/office-closure-extended-to-2nd-june-2020.html)
- Italy - All prosecution deadlines falling between February 23, 2020, and May 14, 2020, have been extended until May 15, 2020. Deadlines pertaining to the filing of oppositions, submissions and proofs in support of oppositions, and late filing of Powers of Attorney for oppositions are not extended. ( https://uibm.mise.gov.it/index.php/en/202-news-english/2036408-covid-19-extension-of-the-deadline-for-administrative-proceedings-to-15-may)
- Portugal - All deadlines falling on or after March 12, 2020, have been suspended until further notice. ( https://inpi.justica.gov.pt/Noticias-do-INPI/Suspensao-de-prazos-no-INPI)
- Russia - Operations have resumed. The IP office has launched telephonic services for those seeking trademark and patent advice. ( https://rupto.ru/ru/news/stali-dostupny-mobilnye-telefony-spravochnyh-sluzhb-rospatenta)
- Spain - All deadlines pertaining to pending proceedings have been suspended until further notice.
- Switzerland - All prosecution deadlines falling between March 21, 2020, and April 19, 2020, were extended until April, 20 2020. Beginning April 20, 2020, further extensions may be allowed on a discretionary basis. Statutory deadlines that are stipulated in days, such as the time limit for filing an appeal, were suspended from March 21, 2020, and will continue running on April 20, 2020, and further extensions may be allowed on a discretionary basis. The physical office remains closed. ( https://www.ige.ch/en/services/newsroom/coronavirus-news.html)
- United Kingdom - All deadlines falling on or after March 24, 2020, have been extended until further notice. As of May 18, 2020, the office is still in an “interrupted period.” ( https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-important-update-on-ipo-services)
- Australia - IP Australia is currently operating as normal. Extension requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may be granted if IP Australia determines that COVID-19 affected the ability of a trademark owner to meet a deadline. Note that some deadlines cannot be extended, however. Requests for waiver or refund of the fee for an extension of time will be considered on a case by case basis. ( https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about-us/news-and-community/news/business-continuity-and-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak)
- China - All deadlines may be suspended upon an evidentiary showing in locations where government prevention measures (such as stay in place orders) are in effect. The suspension period begins on the date where the stay in place order came into effect until “the date when the local place resumes work and management and control on people ends,” except in the case of renewals, which are given a two-month extension upon an evidentiary showing and in cases where filing in the grace period is not available. ( http://english.sipo.gov.cn/news/officialinformation/1145981.htm)
- Hong Kong - The Hong Kong IP Department has extended special work arrangements through April 26, 2020; deadlines falling from April 20 to April 24, 2020, were extended to April 27, 2020. As of April 24, 2020, the office announced that no more extensions will occur. ( https://www.ipd.gov.hk/eng/whats_new/news.htm)
- India - All deadlines falling between March 15, 2020, and May 17, 2020, have been extended to June 1, 2020. The online filing system is still active and can be used to complete filings. (http://www.ipindia.nic.in/newsdetail.htm?681/)
- Indonesia - The physical IP office is closed until at least May 13, 2020, but the online system is available for new filings, responses to refusals, and opposition pleadings. Appeals deadlines are extended until at least May 21, 2020.
- Japan - The Japanese Patent Office will consider extension of time requests on a case-by-case basis if circumstances related to COVID-19 affect the ability to meet a deadline. Applicants should submit a document explaining the circumstances that prevented compliance with the deadline. The JPO has established time limits on the availability of such extensions. In most cases, extensions should be requested within 14 days (and within two months for international applicants) of when it becomes possible for the applicant to take action. The office added new logistical explanations on April 30, 2020. ( https://www.jpo.go.jp/e/news/koho/saigai/covid19_procedures.html)
- Laos - The Department of Intellectual Property was deemed non-essential, and was closed from April 1 to April 20, 2020, and appears to have now reopened. (https://dip.gov.la/?lang=en)
- Malaysia - All trademark renewal deadlines are extended to June 1, 2020. All other deadlines falling between April 1 and May 31, 2020, pertaining to all appeals, oppositions, cancellations, and registration fees are extended to June 1, 2020. ( http://www.myipo.gov.my/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Practice-Direction-1-2020.pdf)
- New Zealand - The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand is currently operating as normal but will assess extension of time requests on a case-by-case basis and grant extensions if circumstances related to COVID-19 affect the ability to meet a deadline. IPONZ may also change the due dates in certain cases on its own, including deadlines to respond to examiner's reports or compliance reports, and to file evidence in contested proceedings. IPONZ will notify parties directly in these cases. ( https://www.iponz.govt.nz/news/iponz-services-during-covid-19/)
- Philippines - As of April 15, 2020, filings can now be made online. For deadlines falling from March 16, 2020, to March 31, 2020, submissions may be filed until May 31, 2020. Deadlines falling from April 1, 2020, to May 15, 2020, are deemed extended for a period of 60 calendar days from the due date. (https://www.ipophil.gov.ph/news/advisories/)
- Singapore - All deadlines falling between April 7, 2020, and June 4, 2020, have been extended to June 5, 2020. The Office is considering extension requests on a case-by-case basis. ( https://www.ipos.gov.sg/media-events/updates/ViewDetails/relief-measures-for-covid-19/)
- South Korea - All deadlines falling between March 31, 2020, and May 30, 2020, have been extended to May 31, 2020. ( click here)
- Vietnam - The Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam closed its main office in Hanoi and has stopped accepting paper filings at that office. Electronic filings and filings at other regional offices are still accepted. All deadlines falling between March 30, 2020, and April 30, 2020, will automatically be extended until May 30, 2020. (http://www.noip.gov.vn/en/web/english/home)
- Egypt - Currently operating as normal.
- Iran - The Iranian Intellectual Property Office is continuing operations without interruption, though it has advised that it has decreased its working hours.
- Israel - The Israeli Patent Office is prohibiting in-person visits to the Office's physical address, though online filings may still be made and physical documents may be submitted to the Office's deposit box.
- Jordan - All legal deadlines extended until at least May 23, 2020.
- Kuwait - Deadlines that fell between March 12 and April 11, 2020, were extended to April 12, 2020. As of April 12, 2020, the Kuwait Intellectual Property Office has resumed operations.
- Libya - The Libyan Intellectual Property Office is closed until further notice.
- Saudi Arabia - The Saudi Arabia IP Office suspended operations as of March 16, 2020, for sixteen days. All deadlines falling after March 27, 2020, have been extended to May 30, 2020. (https://www.saip.gov.sa)
- Turkey - All deadlines and proceedings have been suspended until June 15, 2020. Trademark filings can be completed online where possible.
- UAE - The Trademark Opposition division has suspended all face to face hearings, but appointed hearings will continue based on written submissions. However, no trademark-related deadlines are currently being extended.
- Argentina - All deadlines from March 12, 2020, were extended through May 10, 2020. The office has reopened with minimal staff, and customer service appointments must be made by email. (https://www.argentina.gob.ar/inpi)
- Bolivia - The trademark office is closed until at least April 22, 2020. All deadlines have been suspended until April 23, 2020, and online services are unavailable.
- Brazil - All deadlines falling between March 16, 2020, and May 14, 2020, have been extended to May 31, 2020. All in-person meetings are cancelled until further notice. ( https://www.gov.br/inpi/pt-br/central-de-conteudo/noticias/prorrogada-ate-31-de-maio-a-suspensao-de-prazos-de-processos)
- Chile - There is no impact on prosecution deadlines, but deadlines have been extended indefinitely (or as long as compliance is impeded by the pandemic) in administrative procedures such as oppositions and cancellations.
- Dominican Republic - All legal deadlines are currently suspended, and will be resumed "within three business days of the end of the state of emergency."
- Ecuador - The IP office has launched new services as of April 20, 2020. ( http://www.derechosintelectuales.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/BOLETIN-INFORMATIVO-1xhdpi-1.png)
- El Salvador - All deadlines were suspended until April 22, 2020, and online services were unavailable. The El Salvador IP Office (CNR) has now confirmed that its offices will remain closed to the public until further notice.
- Guatemala - IP offices and courts have now resumed services.
- Honduras - IP offices and courts are closed until further notice.
- Panama - All deadlines have been suspended until further notice.
- Paraguay - All deadlines were suspended through April 26, 2020, but the office is now offering new online services and has reopened its physical offices with strict safety protocols.
- Peru - All deadlines have been suspended until May 20, 2020, but online filing services remain available. ( https://www.indecopi.gob.pe/-/indecopi-confirma-prorroga-de-suspension-de-plazos-administrativos-y-precisa-nuevas-fechas-para-su-computo)
- Venezuela - All deadlines have been suspended until further notice and online services are unavailable.
World Intellectual Property Office
- Although the World Intellectual Property Office has closed its physical offices and arranged for remote work for most of its employees, it continues to operate all of its intellectual property registration systems as usual. WIPO will also continue its domain name arbitration services. (https://www.wipo.int/portal/en/news/2020/article_0015.html)
Originally published 1 May, 2020
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.