COVID-19 Legal Updates & Resource Center
This is a collection of changes and closures that have occurred due to the coronavirus pandemic. The vast majority of the issues mentioned below are focused on intellectual property matters that may be relevant to our clients and other contacts. Please contact us to discuss any of these issues.
Administrative Changes: USPTO
- USPTO notices regarding COVID-19
- USPTO, Copyright Office Waive Deadlines Amid COVID-19 (March 31, 2020) – The USPTO and the U.S. Copyright Office announced that certain intellectual property filing deadlines and fees would be waived during the coronavirus pandemic, citing special provisions included in the $2 trillion relief bill passed last week.
- COVID-19 Bill Lets Copyright Office Extend Deadlines (March 27, 2020) – The $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill will temporarily allow the U.S. Copyright Office to push back filing and procedural deadlines for copyrights to alleviate the effects of the pandemic on agency operations.
- USPTO Waives Revival Fees (March 16, 2020) – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Monday suggested that it can’t move filing deadlines during the COVID-19 pandemic — unlike its European counterpart — but eased the burden on those who miss them by waiving revival petition fees.
Administrative Changes: Courts
- U.S. Court Closings and Restrictions (Law360)
- EU Court Closings and Restrictions (Law360)
- Hearings Before Judge Albright Will Continue as Scheduled, but Telephonically (Docket Navigator, March 30, 2020) – The court sua sponte issued an order in response to a viral outbreak regarding upcoming hearings. "All hearings for civil cases on the Waco division's docket will continue as scheduled, but will occur telephonically. . . . For non-Markman hearings, to the extent a party wishes to use PowerPoint slides, the party must email them to the Court at least 24 hours before the hearing. . . . For Markman hearings, parties must email any slides they wish to use within 6 hours of receiving preliminary constructions from the Court." Far North Patents, LLC v. ADVA Optical Networking SE, 6-20-cv-00218 (WDTX 2020-03-24, Order) (Alan D. Albright)
- Supreme Court Delays Upcoming Arguments Citing COVID-19 (March 16, 2020) – The U.S. Supreme Court put off oral arguments scheduled for the next two weeks, in the federal courts' latest precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Administrative Changes: Non-US Patent Offices
- EPO updated regarding COVID-19
- IP offices implement measures in wake of coronavirus crisis
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) updates:
- European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) provides continuous updates on their processes for trademark applications and design applications
- United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) extends time periods where national and international legislation allows; considers requests for extensions of time on a case-by-case basis
- Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) extends designated deadlines
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) extends deadlines
- Mexican Patent and Trademark Office (IMPI) suspends and interrupts terms from March 24 to April 19, 2020; office to remain open to the public
- IP Australia provides extensions of time for patents, trademarks and designs
- German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) time limits extended until May 4, 2020
- The Trade Marks Registry – All hearings relating to trademark matters scheduled between March 17 and April 15, 2020, have been adjourned and will be rescheduled
- The Copyright Office – All hearings relating to copyright matters scheduled between March 17 and March 31, 2020, have been adjourned and will be rescheduled
- The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) – Matters which were earlier due to be heard March 16 onward will be rescheduled beginning April 1, 2020
- The Supreme Court of India has limited its functioning to urgent matters only
- Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan offices will remain closed until further notice; documents having deadlines falling within this closure period will be filed once the offices reopen
- Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) extends various due dates and the provision of limited services until April 15, 2020
- The Japanese Patent Office (JPO) is providing different relief measures for time limits designated by the JPO (designated time limits), and time limits prescribed in the law or rules (statutory time limits). For details, please refer to the JPO’s announcement here.
Other Administrative Changes: Federal, State & Local
- Tax Return Filing Deadline Moved To July 15 In Light Of Virus – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday that the 2019 tax return filing deadline for individuals and businesses will be moved from April 15 to July 15 in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Notarial Acts and Remote Witnessing of Document Signings, Illinois – An Executive Order issued by Gov. Pritzker relaxed the requirement of notaries witnessing originla signatures in person.
- NY, Mass. Postpone July Bar Exams Over Pandemic (March 30, 2020) – The New York and Massachusetts bar exams will be postponed from July until unspecified dates in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, court and bar officials in both states announced.