As the impact of the novel coronavirus virus (COVID-19) unfolds, all of us are being challenged with adapting to new ways of working and living. We are all adjusting to social distancing, remote workplaces and restricted travel. Like many other segments within the LexisNexis organization, LexisNexis IP is committed to the safety and well-being of our employees, customers and trading partners while continuing our business operations.
We are fortunate to have invested in a robust, state-of-the-art business continuity program in recent years so that our employees can effectively work from home. At this time, our services are unchanged. However, some of our content is dependent on updates from patent authorities from around the world. We are closely monitoring their ability to update their information, and we will notify you of any significant delays.
During this time of rapidly changing dynamics, access to accurate and timely information is critical. We would like to help you navigate this uncertain time, so LexisNexis IP is providing you with some free resources. We have aggregated the information shown below concerning the pandemic, the operations of patent authorities and links that have been made available from our family of LexisNexis companies. Please feel free to share and take advantage of the following links:
- LexisNexis® Legal & Professional has free resources from Lexis Practice Advisor®to help legal professionals, lawmakers and business leaders become better informed and navigate the legal issues and intricacies surrounding COVID-19
- Impact on the legal industry and the practice of law, as well as the U.S. court system, federal agencies, industries, businesses Law360 News & Analysis on COVID-19
- An overview of U.S. courts that are restricting access and altering their procedures Law360 Map of U.S. Court Closures
- From Elsevier, free health and medical research Coronavirus Information Center
- World Health Organization COVID-19 quick links (available in six languages)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Globally, patent offices are issuing information on their current operations and requirements. Many offices have started to issue updates on current continuity of services. Recent summaries of announcements from major offices are shown below. These links will be updated automatically.
- USA – According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website, the USPTO announced extension of certain patent and trademark related timing deadlines. They have also waived the requirement for handwritten signatures for certain signatures and documents.
- Canada – The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) announced that all deadlines on IP matters falling after April 1, that extensions can be obtained upon request. Like many Offices, they are requesting you use their online services. More detailed information and answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.
- China – China’s National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) will waive late fees for missed patent annuity payments if the reason is related to COVID-19.
- EPO – The European Patent Office (EPO) According to the website: “All time limits expiring on or after 15 March 2020 are thus extended until 17 April 2020. As regards time limits expiring before 15 March 2020, the EPO has facilitated the use of legal remedies for users located in areas directly affected by disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The deadline could be extended further if “the dislocation extends beyond” April 17, 2020.
- South Korea: Has committed to expedite any patents related to the coronavirus and is offering financial support to companies working on COVID-19 vaccines and methods of prevention and diagnosis
- World IP Organization: A recent announcement from WIPO stated it will deliver electronic versions of various documents until further notice. The documents will be sent in PDF format and are certified copies. Paper copies of these documents will be sent “as soon as possible.” Due to the temporary closure of related public services, the International Bureau of WIPO the issuance of simple certified extracts; legalization of documents; and expedited services. Finally, WIPO added: “Holders of international registrations with a date later than January 1, 2011, and their representatives are reminded that they may download, free of charge, simple copies of their certificates of international registration and renewal using the Madrid Portfolio Manager.”
- UK – the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) stated all physical hearings are cancelled until June 1 (this date may change). Like many other Offices, applicants should use digital communications, fees and forms whenever possible.
- India – Effective March 25, due to the national lockdown, the India Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks will close for 21 days. Due dates falling between March 25 and April 14 will be delayed until the date on which the office reopens on April 15. Delayed due dates will be applied to completion of various acts/proceedings, filing of any reply/document, and payment of fees.
- The Japan Patent Office remains open. No extensions are being granted at this time.
- Additional information for the following patent offices can be found here:
We are fortunate to live in a time of connected technology, allowing us to stay in touch and share information. LexisNexis IP is committed to supporting you as we all strive to maintain our business objectives and protect the health of our employees, customers and communities.
Stay safe and healthy,
VP and MD of Global Commercial Markets