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COVID-19: Patent and Trademark Office Updates as of April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020

Miller Canfield is actively tracking the current status of operations of numerous Patent and Trademark Offices (PTOs) around the world in the light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Below is a chart that shows the status of various countries' PTOs. This is current as of the date shown above and we will regularly update the "Current Status" as we receive new information. You can access this chart and other helpful and substantive updates at our COVID-19 Resource Center. Please contact the authors or your Miller Canfield attorney for assistance. 

COUNTRY

CURRENT STATUS

Afghanistan

The Afghanistan Patent and Trademark Office (APTO) will be closed for 3 weeks starting on March 28, 2020, as part of the shutdown of all government offices in Kabul. The APTO will reopen on April 20, 2020. The APTO has not released any official statements as to the status of any deadlines that fall within that period.

Algeria

The Intellectual Property Office of Algeria (INPAI) has announced limited working hours from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (local time).

Andorra

Closed as of March 18, 2020, until further notice. All deadlines are postponed until the office reopens.

Argentina

Suspended all legal and regulatory terms until April 3, 2020. All new filings with priority due dates falling within this term can also be completed on April 6, 2020.

Australia

The Australian Patent and Trade Marks Office (IP Australia) issued a notification recognizing that the COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented situation that may impact the ability of applicants and their representatives to process applications.

Where an applicant cannot act within time due to the COVID-19 outbreak, an extension of time may be available. Requests for extensions of time will need to be made in the normal way, accompanied, where required, by a declaration setting out how the COVID-19 outbreak interfered with the filing of a timely response. Requests for waiver or refund of the fee for the extension of time will be considered on a case by case basis.

Applicants should note that some time periods cannot be extended.

Austria

The Austrian Patent Office (APO) will not accept any entries in person until April 4, 2020. All pending official time limits and proceedings before the Austrian Patent Office (e.g. deadlines for comments on notices) will be extended by two months without the need to apply for a further extension.

For deadlines for the submission of a reply in bilateral proceedings (e.g. trademark revocation proceedings and oppositions) a request for extension of the deadline must be submitted. According to the current legal situation, the request must be granted if the deadline for the submission of a reply has expired. As with all submissions, requests for deadlines in nullity proceedings can be submitted electronically.

More particularly as to trademarks, the APO has stated they have been forced to change their procedures. Therefore, there may be delays in trademark services (such as a PreCheck Trademark Report).

Bahamas

The Industrial Property Office of the Bahamas has made no announcements regarding COVID-19 at this time. The country confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 24, 2020, so the situation may change.

Brazil

All deadlines are postponed until April 14, 2020.

BOIP (Benelux Trademarks Office) Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg

As long as there are emergency restrictions in the countries of Benelux, no case will lapse because the term expired from March 16, 2020 until such restrictions are lifted and a "Business As Usual" (BAU) date is set. As soon as the restrictions are lifted, in all cases there will be a term of at least one month from the BAU date.

Canada

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) previously announced that all deadlines on IP matters falling between March 16, 2020, and March 31, 2020, will be extended to the next day (April 1, 2020).

On account of the continuing unforeseen disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, CIPO has now announced that all deadlines in the period of time beginning on April 1, 2020, and ending on April 30, 2020, have been suspended.

The result of designating these days is that if a time period is fixed under the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act then all such time limits ending on any of these designated days will now be extended until May 1, 2020.

Chile

The National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI) has announced the following in view of the COVID-19 pandemic:

1. Extension of deadlines in administrative procedures by resolution: in the case of contentious procedures, it may be extended by the number of days the impediment lasts.
2. Power of Attorney: considering that in many cases it will not be possible to obtain the original documents, deadlines will be made with the aim of giving the party a longer period to respond with the signed electronic document. If the user has the original document, he/she may electronically attach a letter stating as such. A note will be made in the file and no delay will be sited as long as he/she then submits the original document within 15 days.
3. Test hearings: if a prior appointment had been made, a new date and time will be given. Furthermore, at least an extension of 15 days will be considered in the first stage.
4. Hearing of exhibition of evidence in kind: in the case of trademark procedures, the office will consider ministers of faith as qualified notaries.
5. Final payments: the presentation of final payment documents for patents, models and designs (including decades and five years) that are scanned and attached to an online brief will be accepted within a period of not more than 15 days past the due date.
6. Payment of taxes for appeal: PDF proof of payment made in a bank institution in conjunction with a letter of appeal will be accepted.
7. INAPI operation: face-to-face opening hours will start at 10 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. (local time). In-person meetings will be exclusive to users who have essential consultations and procedures that cannot be carried out by other means and who have requested a time reservation through the institutional telephone platform.

China

China's National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) will waive late fees for missed patent annuity payments if the reason can be traced back to the COVID-19 epidemic.

CNIPA recommends that trademark applications, as well as 23 other proceedings (including change recordals, renewals, assignments, etc.) be filed online. E-payment options have been made available for public access. As an alternative, submissions in writing can be sent through the mail.

Djibouti

The Trademark Office in Djibouti suspended all operations until April 1, 2020. Any deadlines falling between March 20, 2020, and March 31, 2020, are automatically extended to April 1, 2020.

Egypt

The Patent and Trademark Office in Egypt is temporarily closed from March 22, 2020, to April 8, 2020. Any deadlines are automatically extended to the first working day.

Eurasian Patent Office

Due to the presidential decree in the Russian Federation, the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) will only be partially operational from March 29, 2020, to April 5, 2020. All deadlines falling within this period will automatically be extended to April 6, 2020. The EAPO has also announced amendments to their work processes. Applicants and their representatives will not be able to access the EAPO premises until April 15, 2020. Paper documents will be accepted through the Russian Post. For documents relating to a Eurasian application or a Eurasian patent, any document sent in facsimile form, by email or through an FTP server within the established time limit will be considered submitted on time as long as the original is received no later than one month after the date when the ban on physical access is revoked.

European Patent Office

EPO staff are working remotely and continuing to examine applications.  The EPO has extended until April 17, 2020, all routine official action deadlines which fall on or between March 15, 2020, and April 16, 2020. This deadline extension is only for routine official actions and does not apply to some circumstances such as the filling of a divisional application. Should disruptions continue, the EPO has announced it is willing to increase this extension or offer additional remedies.

With respect to time limits expiring before March 15, 2020, the EPO will facilitate the use of legal remedies for users located in areas directly affected by disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The extensions and remedies apply to parties and representatives in proceedings under the EPC and the PCT.

The EPO has decided to postpone until further notice all oral proceedings in examination and opposition proceedings scheduled until April 17, 2020, unless they have already been confirmed to take place by videoconferencing. During this time, the EPO will explore options for further facilitating, where applicable, the use of videoconferencing in oral proceedings.

Oral proceedings will not be held in the premises of the Boards of Appeal until April 17, 2020. Concerned parties will be contacted accordingly with a communication.

European Union

EUIPO staff are working remotely and continuing to examine applications. All terms between March 9, 2020, and April 30, 2020, will be extended to May 1, 2020. However, Friday, May 1, 2020, is an official holiday, such that all terms are effectively extended to Monday, May 4, 2020.

France

The National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) is now extending the time limits for patents, trademarks and designs by 4 months, with the exception of the deadlines for the anti-industrial procedure trademark registration, the 3-month time limit on priority documents, the time limits on opposition procedures and the time limits imposed on the INPI to make decisions that are prescribed by the Intellectual Property Code.

The deadlines that are already set and not due on or before March 16, 2020 are also increased by 4 months.

Furthermore, in the event of non-compliance with a deadline, there are procedures for restoration appeals or forfeiture statements with the INPI. The ongoing health crisis will be taken into account when considering these remedies.

The INPI will remain open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day during this period of crisis. INPI's review and issuance of industrial property titles will continue.

Greece

The Greek Patent and Trademark Office's remain open for e-filing services. Deadlines such as those for EP validations, payment of patent annuities, filing of SPC's with or without pediatric extensions, designs and utility models, and priority claims remain unchanged and are not extendable.

Power of attorney forms should be forwarded to the office initially by email while the originals may follow by courier. Change recordals and patent licenses are not affected at this time. There are no available provisions for re-establishment of rights.

Trademark e-filings and e-renewals may continue without disruption. There may be delays for exceptional cases with discrepancies between the entries in the Greek Register and the TMVIEW tool. Deadlines set by Examiners for reply and deadlines for opposition, revocations and invalidity petitions are suspended until May 11, 2020. The Greek Trademark Office reserves the right to shorten or prolong the length of said suspension. All hearings scheduled for the Administrative Trademarks Committee have been postponed until further notice. Civil actions for trademark and other IP infringements can still be filed but all hearings will be suspended until April 10, 2020.

Germany

The German Patent and Trademark Office confirmed that it cannot extend time limits specified by law, but reminded users that they can request re-establishment of rights if IP rights are lost as a result of the pandemic.

With regard to all pending IP procedures, time limits granted by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office are extended, and no decision will be made because of the expiration of any time limit, until May 4, 2020. Separate notices concerning the extensions of time limits will not be issued. In addition, the time limits to be set by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office will be as generous as the situation requires.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office is not authorized to extend time limits provided for by law. In this respect, reference is made to the option of re-establishment of rights (see also Notice of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office of March 3, 2020).

The below policies apply to hearings and oral proceedings:

• Summons to appear in hearings or oral proceedings will no longer be issued, whether the proceedings are unilateral or multilateral.

• Hearings and oral proceedings that have been scheduled will not take place until further notice and are cancelled ex officio. Cancellation ex officio will be notified in writing.

India

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has issued a statement declaring the closure of all IPO offices for 21 days, ending April 14, 2020.

All hearings with the Patent Office through video conferences scheduled between March 23, 2020, and April 14, 2020, have been cancelled. Dates for rescheduled hearings will be communicated shortly.

All due dates falling within the 21-day period have been extended to April 15, 2020.

Indonesia

The Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) has made no official announcement regarding COVID-19 at this time.

Iran

Temporarily decreasing working hours and closing at 1 p.m. (local time). For now, all actions can be undertaken without disruption.

Iraq

The Trademark Office in Iraq extended its suspension of operations until April 11, 2020, and will only be processing all renewals and opposition proceedings that fall during this time period.

The Trademark Office in the Kurdish Region of Iraq suspended all operations until April 11, 2020. Any deadlines falling between March 18, 2020, and April 10, 2020, are automatically extended to April 11, 2020.

Israel

On March 21, 2020, the Israeli government approved an Emergency Regulation (expansion of the agreement of vacation leave for the public sector due to the new Corona virus) 2020-5780 and the Emergency Regulation (limiting the amount of employees in the workplace in order to minimize the spread of the new Corona virus) 2020-5780 (page 820, ordinance booklet 8405, March 3, 2020).

As a result of these regulations and according to the decision of the management of the Ministry of Justice, the Israel Patent Office (ILPO) workforce was reduced to approximately half. These regulations come into force starting March 22, 2020. They are to remain in effect until April 16, 2020.

All deadlines remain in effect. No deadlines will be automatically extended. A request for an extension can be filed and the Corona epidemic will qualify as a sufficient reason for any delay so long as the proper documents detailing the Corona-related events have been submitted. To give applicants more time to submit their requests for extensions, the ILPO will not close any files due to a failure to respond until May 1, 2020, or until further notice, whichever is later.

Circumstances relating to the Corona epidemic can likely be considered a "reasonable cause" and/or "circumstances over which the applicant and his representative had no control and which could not be prevented" as per Section 164 of The Patents Law, 5727-1967, And Section 100 of The Designs Law, 5777-2017. Also, said events can likely be considered to warrant deadline extensions in trademark and design matters as per Section 82 of The Trademarks Regulations 1940 and Section 54 of The Designs Regulations, 1925.

There are deadlines set in the legislation which cannot be extended including those enumerated in articles 18(b)(3) regarding submitting documents by third party, 30, 56, 57, 61, 64e(e)(2), 64f, 64m, 64o(a), 73(c) and 170(c) (submitting opposition, payment of renewal fees, submitting requests for Patent Term Extension) in the Patents Law 5727-1967, the deadline for submitting a trademark opposition according to article 24 of the Trade Marks Ordinance (New Version), 5732-1972, the deadline for submitting a renewal fee and for submitting a request to reinstate a trademark according to article 33 of the ordinance, requests to reinstate a design, to pay design renewal fees and requests to reconsider a design rejection, according to articles 40, 41, 43 and 30 of the Designs Law, 5777-2017. All applicants and legal representatives, please note these fixed deadlines.

Italy

The Italian Patent and Trademark office suspended all deadlines between March 3, 2020, and April 3, 2020, until April 3, 2020. Some deadlines relating to oppositions and appeals continue to run.

Any certificates and IP titles expiring between January 31, 2020, and April 15, 2020, will remain valid until June 15, 2020 (this does not apply to international trademark applications).

Japan

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) continues to be open and has not extended deadlines. The JPO has made no official announcement regarding COVID-19 at this time.

Jordan

The Trademark Office in Jordan suspended all operations until April 15, 2020. Any deadlines falling between March 18, 2020, and April 14, 2020, are automatically extended to April 15, 2020.

Kuwait

The Patent and Trademark Office in Kuwait has issued an update announcing that it will resume operations on April 12, 2020. Any deadlines falling between March 12, 2020, and April 11, 2020, are automatically extended to April 12, 2020.

Lebanon

Following an extension of the government-imposed curfew, the Patent and Trademark Office in Lebanon suspended all operations until April 14, 2020. Any deadlines will automatically be extended to April 15, 2020.

Libya

The Patent and Trademark Office in Libya announced that it suspended operations until April 6, 2020. Any deadlines falling between March 22, 2020, and April 5, 2020, are automatically extended to April 6, 2020.

Malaysia

The Malaysian Patent Office (MyIPO) is closed until April 14, 2020. All priority deadlines for manual filings are extended to April 15, 2020. All appeals, oppositions, and payment deadlines are extended to April 30, 2020.

Mexico

The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and Mexican Copyright Office (INDAUTOR) will remain open until further notice. Deadlines continue to run.

The Mexican Federal courts have announced a suspension of activities from March 18, 2020, through April 19, 2020, due to the coronavirus epidemic. All deadlines falling within that period will be extended to April 20, 2020.

Morocco

The Patent and Trademark Office in Morocco has announced that as of March 28, 2020, all deadlines have been suspended until further notice.

New Zealand

All Intellectual Property Offices of New Zealand (IPONZ) services are currently operating as usual. If circumstances related to COVID-19 have affected you or are affecting your ability to respond by a deadline, you may send a request to the IPONZ for an extension of time to meet that deadline. The IPONZ will assess extension of time requests on a case-by-case basis.

Pakistan

Provincial Government locked down the province and the city of Karachi. The Pakistan Patent Office is situated in Karachi where the Controller of Patents carries out all the necessary work. Updates as to the status of currently pending applications have yet to be released.

Palestine

Gaza: Following a 14-day government-imposed curfew, the Patent and Trademark Office in Gaza announced that it has suspended operations until April 5, 2020. Any deadlines falling between March 22, 2020, and April 4, 2020, are automatically extended to April 5, 2020.

West Bank: The Patent and Trademark Office in West Bank announced that it has suspended operations until April 6, 2020. Any deadlines falling between March 22, 2020, and April 5, 2020, are automatically extended to April 6, 2020. The Trademark Office will continue to accept new trademark applications online but will provide filing numbers once hard copies of the original documents are submitted.

Peru

The Peruvian government has declared a period of National Emergency until April 12, 2020. The National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) has closed their office until further notice. Legal and administrative terms are suspended.

Philippines

Suspended operations from March 16, 2020, until April 14, 2020. All deadlines will be extended to April 15, 2020.

Portugal

While patent and trademark operations continue, all procedural time limits were suspended on March 12, 2020, until further notice.

Romania

A national state of emergency was announced by Romania on March 27, 2020. The state of emergency will run indefinitely until further notice. The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM) will follow the guidance of the Romanian government. All applicants may still file their applications through electronic means or by post. However, all time limits related to the procedures before OSIM shall not run and time limits which had already run shall be suspended. All time limits will run or continue, respectively, after the state of emergency has ended.

Russia

By presidential decree, the days of March 29, 2020, to April 5, 2020, have been officially declared non-working days. The Russian Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) will only be partially operational during this time. All deadlines falling within this time period will automatically be extended to April 6, 2020. Hearings at Rospatent's Chamber for Patent Disputes will be held remotely as teleconferences until May 8, 2020. Paper documents will only be accepted by Rospatent through the Russian Post and via a contactless box. Rospatent encourages applicants to use specialized secure electronic channels for delivering documents.

Saudi Arabia

Despite the government's decision to shut down the public sector until March 31, 2020, the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property, or SAIP, announced that it is operating online. Applicants cannot submit original documents until further notice.

Spain

The state of emergency in Spain has been extended to April 11, 2020. All deadlines in administrative proceedings currently pending before the Spanish Patent & Trademark Office (SPTO) have been suspended until the state of emergency has been lifted.

South Africa

The President has announced a total lock down of South Africa including the Patent and Trademark office from March 26, 2020, until April 16, 2020. Certain automated services will become available again on April 1, 2020. Deadlines for filing Annual Returns between March 25, 2020, and April 15, 2020, will automatically be extended until April 30, 2020.

South Korea

The KIPO announced it will grant extensions for applicants who have failed to comply with the statutory time limits for submitting documents or paying fees to the KIPO for any reasons relating to the coronavirus. Affected applicants will be asked to submit a relief measure request or a statement of payment, together with an explanatory statement and evidential materials.

 
The KIPO also asks its customers to use its online services and phone interviews and avoid making physical visits to examiners and/or administrative judges to prevent a possible spread of the coronavirus.

Sudan

The Trademark Office in Sudan suspended all operations until April 1, 2020, but will only be accepting new application filings. All deadlines related to procedures currently pending before the Offices will be suspended until April 4, 2020.

Sweden

The Swedish Patent and Registration Office (SPRO) stated that their patent, trademark and design experts will continue to work as usual with all applications submitted to SPRO. Work relating to consultancy and search services will also continue.

Syria

The Patent and Trademark Office in Syria announced it has suspended operations until further notice. Any deadlines are automatically extended to the first working day that the office reopens.

Thailand

The Thailand Department of Intellectual Property is implementing a grace period. The grace period will apply to all IP-related prosecution process deadlines for anyone who is directly affected by COVID-19. The grace period includes deadlines related to applications, oppositions, registrations, office actions or any payment.

Tunisia

The Patent and Trademark Office in Tunisia (INNORPI) announced that it has suspended operations until April 6, 2020. All deadlines are automatically extended to April 6, 2020.

Turkey

The Turkish Patent and Trademark Office has announced that all deadlines expiring between March 13, 2020, and April 30, 2020, have been suspended. All deadlines falling within the suspended period will be extended to May 1, 2020.

United Kingdom

The UK Intellectual Property Office is currently operating as normal. However, it has said that it will extend deadlines where national and international legislation allows. It has also said that where a deadline has been missed, resulting in a loss of rights, they may be able to restore or reinstate the right depending on the circumstances.

No further physical hearings will be booked or take place until June 1, 2020 (this date will be kept under review).

United States of America

In accordance with section 12004 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is extending the time to file certain documents or fees which otherwise would have been due on or after March 27, 2020.

For Patent-Related Deadlines

The due date for any of the proceedings listed below that were due between, and inclusive of, both March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will be extended 30 days from the initial date it was due, provided that the filing is accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak as defined in subsection (1)(b) which states the following: "A delay in filing or payment is due to the COVID-19 outbreak for the purposes of this notice if a practitioner, applicant, patent owner, petitioner, third party requester, inventor, or other person associated with the filing or fee was personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including, without limitation, through office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delays, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances, such that the outbreak materially interfered with timely filing or payment."

The following patent-related proceedings are included:

i) reply to an Office notice issued during pre-examination processing by a small or micro entity;

ii) reply to an Office notice or action issued during examination or patent publication processing;

iii) issue fee;

iv) notice of appeal under 35 U.S.C. § 134 and 37 C.F.R. § 41.31;

v) appeal brief under 37 C.F.R. § 41.37;

vi) reply brief under 37 C.F.R. § 41.41;

vii) appeal forwarding fee under 37 C.F.R. § 41.45;

viii) request for an oral hearing before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) under 37 C.F.R. § 41.47;

ix) response to a substitute examiner's answer under 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(a)(2);

x) amendment when reopening prosecution in response to, or request for rehearing of, a PTAB decision designated as including a new ground of rejection under 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b);

xi) maintenance fee filed by a small or micro entity; or

xii) request for rehearing of a PTAB decision under 37 C.F.R. § 41.52

With regards to proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, a request to the USPTO affirming that a filing due between, and inclusive of both, March 27, 2020, and April 30, 2020, was or may be delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak as defined above in subsection (1)(b), the PTAB shall provide a 30-day extension of time for:

i) a request for rehearing of a PTAB decision under 37 C.F.R. §§ 41.125(c), 41.127(d), or 42.71(d)

ii) a petition to the Chief Judge under 37 C.F.R. § 41.3; or

iii) a patent owner preliminary response in a trial proceeding under 37 C.F.R. §§ 42.107 or 42.207, or any related responsive filings.

In the event that the USPTO extends a deadline for a patent owners preliminary response or any related responsive filings under subsection (2)(a)(iii), the PTAB may also extend the deadlines provided in 35 U.S.C. §§ 314(b) and 324(c).

For all other situations, a request for an extension of time where the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented or interfered with a filing before the Board can be made by contacting the PTAB at 571-272-9797 or by email at Trials@uspto.gov (for AIA trials), PTAB_Appeals_Suggestions@uspto.gov (for PTAB appeals) or InterferenceTrialSection@uspto.gov (for interferences).

The USPTO is open for the filing of patent documents and fees. Specifically, patent documents and fees may be submitted to the USPTO via: (1) the USPTO's electronic filing system (EFS-Web) (MPEP § 502.05); (2) the United States Postal Service (USPS) by Priority Mail Express® under 37 C.F.R. § 1.10 (MPEP § 513) or with a certificate of mailing under 37 C.F.R. § 1.8 (MPEP § 512); (3) by hand-delivery to the Customer Service Window (MPEP § 501); and (4) facsimile transmission (MPEP § 502.01). AIA trial documents may be submitted to the USPTO via the PTAB E2E electronic filing system under 37 C.F.R. § 42.6, and interference documents may be submitted to the USPTO Interference Web Portal under 37 C.F.R. § 41.106(d)(2). As the USPTO remains open for the filing of documents and fees, the waiver set forth in this notice is available only if the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak as defined above. The USPTO will continue to evaluate the evolving situation around COVID-19 and the impact on the USPTO's operations and stakeholders.

In addition to the relief provided above, the USPTO has previously waived the fee under 37 C.F.R. § 1.17(m) for petitions to revive applications under 37 C.F.R. § 1.137, when applicants were unable to timely reply to an office communication due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as described in the Office's March 16, 2020 notice.

For Trademark-Related Deadlines

The due date for any of the proceedings listed below that were due between, and inclusive of, both March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will be extended 30 days from the initial date it was due, provided that the filing is accompanied by a statement that the delay in filing or payment was due to the COVID-19 outbreak as defined in subsection (1)(b) which states the following: "A delay in filing or payment is due to the COVID-19 outbreak for the purposes of this notice if a practitioner, applicant, patent owner, petitioner, third party requester, inventor, or other person associated with the filing or fee was personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including, without limitation, through office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delays, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances, such that the outbreak materially interfered with timely filing or payment."

The following Trademark-related proceedings are included:

i) response to an Office action, including a notice of appeal from a final refusal, under 15 U.S.C. §1062(b) and 37 C.F.R. §§ 2.62(a) and 2.141(a);

ii) statement of use or request for extension of time to file a statement of use under 15 U.S.C. § 1051(d) and 37 C.F.R. §§ 2.88(a) and 2.89(a);

iii) notice of opposition or request for extension of time to file a notice of opposition under 15 U.S.C. § 1063(a) and 37 C.F.R. §§ 2.101(c) and § 2.102(a);

iv) priority filing basis under 15 U.S.C. § 1126(d)(1) and 37 C.F.R. § 2.34(a)(4)(i);

v) priority filing basis under 15 U.S.C. § 1141g and 37 C.F.R. § 7.27(c);

vi) transformation of an extension of protection to the United States into a U.S. application under 15 U.S.C. § 1141j(c) and 37 C.F.R. § 7.31(a);

vii) affidavit of use or excusable nonuse under 15 U.S.C. § 1058(a) and 37 C.F.R. § 2.160(a);

viii) renewal application under 15 U.S.C. § 1059(a) and 37 C.F.R. § 2.182; or

ix) affidavit of use or excusable nonuse under 15 U.S.C. § 1141k(a) and 37 C.F.R. § 7.36(b).

For all other situations where the COVID-19 outbreak has prevented or interfered with a filing before the Board, a request (in ex parte appeals) or motion (for trial cases) for an extension or reopening of time, as appropriate, can be made.

The USPTO is open for the filing of trademark and TTAB documents and fees. As the USPTO remains open for the filing of trademark documents and fees, the waiver set forth in this notice is available only if the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak as defined above. The USPTO will continue to evaluate the evolving situation around COVID-19 and the impact on the USPTO's operations and stakeholders.

The existing procedures to revive an abandoned application or reinstate a canceled/expired registration pursuant to 37 CFR §§ 2.66 and 2.146 remain available to applicants and registrants whose applications and registrations were abandoned or canceled/expired due to the inability to timely respond to a trademark-related Office communication as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. As described in the Office's March 16, 2020, "Relief Available to Patent and Trademark Applicants, Patentees and Trademark Owners" notice, fees for such petitions are waived.

Venezuela

The Autonomous Intellectual Property Service (SAPI) has suspended any in person contact related to the process of the registration of intellectual property indefinitely as of March 16, 2020. All inquiries are to be done electronically or by phone.