The team provide an up to date look at what's happening with the different courts in the jurisdictions we operate. We have also provided live links to our sources for more detailed information.

Please note that the information gathered below is only informative and any further detail would require a specific assessment.

Click here to view the PDF table >

Authors: Dr. Constantin Eikel & Bryony Gold

Algeria

IPO

Status

The Intellectual Property Office has limited working hours from 22 March 2020 till 10 April 2020.

A grace period of one month will be granted once business is back to normal.

Last updated 02/04/2020

Argentina

IPO

Status

The National PTO will be closed until March 31, 2020. 

All terms and deadlines have been suspended until April 20, 2020.  

All terms and deadlines have been suspended until April 26, 2020.    

Online system is available.

Latest update 14.04.2020

Links

Communication

Australia

IPO

Status

Future hearings will be conducted by video conference, telephone or written submission.

Extensions of time for patents, trade marks and designs may be available. Requests for waiver or refund of the fee for the extension of time will be considered on a case by case basis.

It may be possible for Plant Breeder's Rights (PBR) applicants to defer certain actions.

Until further notice PBR examiners will not be conducting the examination of field trials for PBR purposes that involve domestic flights or overnight stays. The Australian Cultivar Registration Authority is closed for receiving plant specimens until further notice.

While Australia’s Intellectual Property office continues to operate, clients impacted by COVID-19 can now request a free extension of time of up to 3 months on most Australian IP deadlines. 

The arrangement applies to most patent, trade mark and design extensions of time (but it does not apply to payment of renewal fees or continuation fees). 

All that is required is a one-sentence declaration from your trade mark representation (law firm/agent) that you’re unable to meet the deadline due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 

Latest update 70.04.2020
 

Links

IP Australia Communications

Courts

Status

Federal Court of Australia
On 17 March, Chief Justice of the Federal Court sent a notice advising that as of 18 March 2020, unless specifically and individually excepted by the Court, all Federal Court of Australia listings up to 30 June 2020 will be vacated. Urgent cases will be heard provided the need for urgency is explained.

Parties with listed hearings up to 30 June 2020 will be contacted by the Court directly about the need for the matter to proceed and possible options for achieving that where appropriate.

Public facing counters are closed as of 24 March 2020.

Latest update 24.03.2020

High Court of Australia
The High Court has suspended hearings in April, May and June, except for urgent matters and special leave applications which will be heard by video link.
Latest update 24.03.2020

Victoria and New South Wales
Courts across the state of Victoria and the Supreme Court and District Court of New South Wales have suspended new jury trials. Latest update 24.03.2020

Links

Federal Court Communications

23 March: Federal Court - Chief Justice Special Measures Note

High Court: Notices/Opening Section


Bahrain

IPO

Status

The Intellectual Property Office is closed until further notice. Applications can be filed electronically.

Last updated 02.04.2020

Benelux

IPO

Status

The Benelux IPO has informed the public as follows:

  • from 16 March 2020, the BOIP will not withdraw any requests or procedures because a given deadline has not been met;

  • all deadlines (including for payments) that expire or will expire between 16 March and 24 June inclusive will expire on 25 June 2020;
  • all deadlines currently running that expire on or after 25 June remain unchanged.
  • all deadlines set from 25 May onwards will be for the usual period, even if the latter expires before 25 June;
  • as regards oppositions, in cases where the deadline for filing an opposition against a trademark application expired or expires between 16 March and 24 June inclusive, opposition may be filed until 25 June inclusive. As a result, it is still possible to file an opposition against certain applications, despite the fact that they have already been registered in the online register. The applications in question were published between 14 January and 24 April inclusive;
  • responses in inter partes proceedings filed before the deadline, cause period set to expire. This is the case unless the user explicitly states that it reserves the right to use the remainder of the period;
  • the BOIP acknowledges that the information in the online register may not be accurate. It can be that the register erroneously mentions registered status of a mark, while the opposition deadline may actually be extended; 
  • the BOIP underlines that this communication does not have consequences for actions at the Benelux Court of Justice, including the deadlines for appeal against decisions from the BOIP; and
  • the BOIP is not in a position to communicate on a case-by-case basis a new deadline for all requests and procedures.
  • Lastly, the BOIP also informed us that priority deadlines do not fall under this communication, because they are considered deadlines for other national offices. However, the BOIP is in contact with other Offices for a unified approach.
     

Latest update 12.05.2020

Links

11 May 2020:  Proposed BAU date; removal of the general extension of deadlines at BOIP

20 March 2020: Compliance with deadlines during the period of public health restrictions caused by the corona virus

16 March 2020: BOIP takes measures to combat coronavirus

Courts

Status

Netherlands
Until at least 6 April 2020 the courts, tribunals and special colleges are closed and all hearings are postponed, unless the hearing concerns an urgent matter, such as bankruptcy hearings. IP cases will not generally qualify as urgent within this meaning. It is up to the court in question to determine if the case is extremely urgent.

Deadlines for exchanging and submitting written documents and dockets dates remain unchanged. The accelerated regime in patent cases at The Hague District Court will remain unaffected.

Central Desks are closed in all courts. Paper documents can be couriered to the delivery entrance of the court buildings. Documents of up to a few dozen pages can be faxed. An increasing number of courts are now also allowing communication by e-mails.

For PI actions, the normal oral hearing has been replaced by a schedule of communications by e-mail. A conference call will be organised with the judge if he has further questions. If an oral hearing is determined to be necessary, it will likely be scheduled after the lockdown is lifted, but it can still occur during lockdown if the judge decides there is an urgent need.
Latest update 23.03.2020

Belgium

A Royal Decree of 9 April 2020 regarding concerning the extension of limitation periods and other time limits for bringing legal proceedings as well as the extension of procedural time limits and written procedure before courts and tribunals  has been issued.

1) Time limits

  • The limitation periods and other time limits for bringing legal proceedings before a civil court which expire from 9 April 2020 up to and including 3 May 2020 shall be extended automatically until 3 June 2020.
  • The procedural deadlines and the time limits for appealing decisions that expire during the period from 9 April 2020 up to and including 3 May 2020 shall also be automatically extended until 3 June 2020. This includes deadlines for written pleadings.
  • This does not prevent the parties, by mutual agreement, from keeping the original schedule or agreeing on new deadlines and agreeing amicably on a binding "recalculated" schedule.
  • If the continuation of proceedings is urgent, the Court may, upon motivated request, exclude the extension of procedural time-limits.

2) Hearings

  • All hearings, (except criminal cases, unless they concern only civil interests) which are to take place as of 13 April 2020 until 3 June 2020 included, (date that may be amended)  and in which all parties have submitted written pleadings, shall automatically be judged on the basis of the written pleadings and documents communicated, without hearing. 
  • A party who cannot agree to the above shall inform the court in writing and in a reasoned manner no later than one week before the scheduled hearing, or, for cases that are scheduled for oral argument hearings that take place within eight days of the publication of this decree, no later than the day before the hearing.
  • If all the parties object to the application of the above, the case shall be postponed to an undetermined date or to a specific date. 
  • If none of the parties or only one or some of them object, the judge shall decide on the basis of the exhibits. The judge may decide to hold the hearing, possibly by videoconference, to postpone the case to an indefinite or a fixed date or to render a judgment without pleadings.
  • No later than one month after the case has been taken under consideration, the judge may request that the parties give oral explanations, possibly by video conference, on the points he indicates. 

The Brussels Commercial Courts confirmed that the hearings will take place pursuant to this Royal Decree. They also provided the below additional information:

  1. French-speaking Court
  • No introductory hearings until 1 May 2020. One introductory hearing will be organized on 27 April 2020 for hearings which were supposed to take place between 16 March and 19 April. Lawyers have been warned individually. Introductory hearings for summary proceedings are however maintained.
  • Bundle of exhibits to be filed before hearing (electronically preferably).
  • Service for unilateral requests remains assured.

    2.  Dutch-speaking Court

  • No introductory hearings until 3 June 2020. Written requests for a calendar are accepted.
  • Bundle of exhibits to be filed before hearing date (electronically or physically + USB).

Latest update 17.04.2020


Luxembourg
Judicial administration services are reduced public access to judicial sites has been restricted to the absolute minimum. Dates for hearings have been amended as published in Memorial B, n ° B 1010.

Physical reception and legal information services counters and the civil directory are closed until further notice.

Links

The Judiciary and Coronavirus (Dutch)

Luxembourg: Ministerial order ° B 1010 of 16 March fixing hearings to 3 April

Luxembourg: Communication 20 March 2020

Brazil

IPO

Status

The National PTO is currently closed. 

Deadlines and terms that fall between March 16, 2020 and April 14, 2020, have been postponed until April 15, 2020. 

Online system is available.

Latest update 25.03.2020

 
 

 


 

Chile

IPO

Status

The National PTO is open and working with restrictions. 

Deadlines and terms will be extended in certain situations. 

Online system is available.

Latest update 25.03.2020

 

China

Courts

Status

Mainland
Hearings are being conducted by video. Court filings are done by post or online. Hearings before the Beijing IP Court have been adjourned and we have not received any notification on new hearing dates.
Latest update 16.03.2020

Hong Kong
Courts have been closed since early February and all hearings were adjourned under a "General Adjournment Period", which was due to expire on 22 March. On 22 March, the Judiciary announced that the "General Adjournment Period" would be extended until 5 April 2020 (subject to review). Court hearings scheduled from 24 March to 5 April will generally be adjourned unless they are urgent as directed by the court. Parties will be notified if their hearings will be held as scheduled during this two week period.

Court registries will generally be closed during the adjournment and will only provide support services for urgent matters.

Judges have been handling some applications on paper.

Links

Hong Kong: Communication from the Judiciary

Colombia

IPO

Status

The National PTO will be closed until further notice. 

All terms and deadlines have been suspended until further notice. 

Online system is available.

Latest update 14.04.2020

Links
Communication

Community Plant Variety Office

IPO

Status

Community Plant Variety Office
Please see the link for details.

Links

https://cpvo.europa.eu/en

Costa Rica

IPO

Status
The National PTO is open and working. 

Deadlines and terms have not been suspended. 

Online system is not available.

Latest update 25.03.2020

Czech Republic

IPO

Status
From 16th March 2020 the office has been closed to the public. Office hours have been limited to Mondays and Wednesdays from 09:00-12:00.

The IPO will consider whether to postpone deadlines on a case by case basis.

Links

19 March 2020: Change of official hours and restriction of public entry into the building of the Industrial Property Office

19 March 2020: Position of the Ministry of the Interior on the assessment of the running of time limits in the area of public administration during the period of emergency

Courts

Status

Court hearings are not currently prohibited but a number of courts have been postponing non-urgent hearings nonetheless. The current measures were adopted for a fixed term until 24 April 2020, however it is expected that these will be prolonged. Procedural deadlines are ongoing.

The Ministry of Justice has issued a recommendation to the judges to consider if it is necessary to hold oral hearings already scheduled and if it is necessary to schedule new ones. The Ministry also said that delays in the proceeding caused by this measure will not be attributed to the judges.

So far, there should be no impact on PI proceedings.
Latest update 23.03.2020

Denmark

IPO

Status

The DKPTO is operating on a work from home basis from until Monday the 13th of April 2020. It will not be possible to submit applications in person, however electronic and paper applications can still be submitted.

DKPTO will not hold any physical meetings from the 13th of March up to and including the 13th of April 2020

DKPTO will not impose a fixed period for postponing deadlines. Instead the DKPTO will consider extensions on a case-by-case basis but aim to be as flexible as possible in relation to granting extensions of due dates.
 

Links

13 March 2020: COVID-19: The Danish Patent and Trademark Office is Operating as normal

17 March 2020: COVID-19: Update on the operational status at the Danish Patent and Trademark Office

Courts

Status

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is closed until 30 April. All main negotiations, meetings and visits are therefore cancelled up to and including that date, however telephone meetings are still held.

Western High Court
The Western High Court is provisionally closed until 10 May. Until Wednesday, April 30, 2020, only a few critical cases will be dealt with. Parties are to assume that hearings to 27 March are cancelled.

Eastern High Court
For hearings scheduled to April 13, 2020, parties and attorneys will be notified directly as to whether the hearing is being held or cancelled.
To the extent possible, the Eastern High Court will continue to prepare both civil and criminal cases and decide cases that do not require physical attendance.

District Court
In accordance with the government's decision all 24 district courts will be closed provisionally from 13 March to 10 May 2020. This means that almost all cases have been cancelled.


Latest update 15.04.2020

Links

Supreme Court Communication

Eastern High Court Communication

Western High Court - FAQs

Western High Court - Communication

District Court Communication

Dominican Republic

IPO

Status

The National PTO is currently closed. 

All terms and deadlines were suspended from March 20 to April 13, 2020. Provide that the emergency state is not renewed, terms will reassume on April 16. 

Online system is not available.

Latest update 25.03.2020

 

Ecuador

IPO

Status

The National PTO will be closed until April 19, 2020. 

All terms and deadlines have been suspended until April 19, 2020. 

Online system is available in limited cases and only by email.

Latest update 14.04.2020

Links

Communication

Egypt

IPO

Status

The Trademark Office and the Patent Office suspended all operations until 8 April 2020. Any deadlines are automatically extended to the first working day.

Last updated 02.04.2020

El Savador

IPO

Status

The National PTO will be closed until April 21, 2020. 

Deadlines and terms have been suspended until further notice. 

Online system is not available.

Latest update 25.03.2020


 

EPO

IPO

Status

 The EPO has postponed until further notice all oral proceedings in opposition proceedings scheduled until 14 September 2020 unless they have already been confirmed to take place by means of videoconferencing. Oral proceedings in examination will continue to be held by videoconference in accordance with the decision of the President of the EPO dated 1 April 2020.

All time limits expiring on or after 15 March 2020 are extended until 2 June 2020. If disruption should continue after 2 June 2020, the EPO may publish another notice informing users about further extensions and remedies in respect of time limits.

The extension of time limits also applies to periods for paying fees, including renewal fees. Please see notice of 30 March 2020 for information about the amounts due following the general fee increase on 1 April 2020.

The Boards of Appeal resume the holding of oral proceedings, to a limited extent, at their premises in Haar from Monday, 18 May 2020. Parties will be contacted accordingly by communication.


Latest update 24.05.2020

Links
Continually updated information from the EPO 14 April communication

Decision of the President of the EPO dated 1 April 2020 concerning oral proceedings by videoconference before examining divisions

European Union

IPO

Status

EUIPO

On 15 May 2020 the Executive Director published an Order with the effect that all extensions to deadlines to 18 May came to an end on 18 May 2020. Guidance and clarifications have been issued in relation to the usual procedure for extending deadlines stipulated in the applicable Regulations, in case parties continue to face operational difficulties in light of the pandemic.

Latest update 24.05.2020

Links

Communication

Courts

Status

CJEU

Judicial activity continues, but priority will be given urgent cases (urgent proceedings, expedited proceedings and interim proceedings).

Hearings are currently suspended and the hearing originally listed in some cases has been replaced with written questions to the parties. If circumstances relating to health permit it, the CJEU has said that it anticipates holding hearings once again with effect from Monday 25 May 2020. In respect of hearings that are re-listed, the representatives of the parties in the cases concerned will be informed by the registry of the dates and times of those hearings. Where physical hearings take place, strict sanitary measures will be taken.

Procedural time limits for instituting proceedings and lodging appeals continue to run as usual, but time limits in on-going proceedings (except for particularly urgent matters) are extended by one month. Until further notice, time limits to be fixed by the registry are also increased by one month.  

Latest update 22.05.2020

General Court

Judicial activity continues, but priority will be given urgent cases (urgent proceedings, expedited proceedings and interim proceedings).

Hearings that had been fixed in the period to 15 May 2020 are adjourned. If circumstances relating to health so permit, the GC anticipates that hearings will progressively be resumed in the Court’s hearing rooms with effect from 25 May 2020. The representatives of the parties in the cases concerned will be informed of the dates and times of those hearings, and strict sanitary measures will be taken.

Time limits shall continue to run. Parties seeking an extension, where it is possible for time limits to be extended, have been told to make a request in good time so that the Court can make a ruling on that request.

Latest update 03.05.2020

Links

Communication

Finland

IPO

Status

From 13 March 2020 customer service in Helsinki will be closed. Online services will be running normally. It is still possible to send paper notifications by post, though the PRH recommends online filing.

Apart from certain notifications which must be filed by a specific deadline, the deadline for filing corrected notifications with the Finnish Trade Register is now 31 May 2020.

Latest update 23.03.2020

Links

16 March 2020: Our customer service in Helsinki is closed until further notice

20 March 2020: Effects of the Coronavirus on our office and customers

23 March 2020 - Communication

Courts

Status

A state of emergency has been declared, which theoretically gives the power to cancel hearings and postpone deadlines. As of now, proceedings have not been cancelled. The Finnish justice ministry has warned that some cases may be delayed.

Latest update 16.03.2020

France

IPO

Status

From 17 March 2020 all INPI sites are closed to the public with the office operating on a working from home basis with online services still being available.

On 25 March 2020, the Government issued an ordinance providing that all deadlines occurring during a legally protected period extending from March 12 to one month after the end of the state of health emergency are postponed to:

- one month after the end of the legally protected period if the initial period was one month; and
- two months after the end of the legally protected period if the initial period was two months or more.

The INPI has stated that this ordinance applies to all the deadlines provided for by the intellectual property code, with the exception of those resulting from international agreements or European texts. The INPI therefore considers that, resulting from that ordinance, the deadlines for the following actions would be postponed:

- opposition to a brand;
- payment of a patent annuity;
- renewal of a brand or extension of a design and the corresponding grace period;
- lodging of an administrative or jurisdictional appeal;
- third parties observations; and
- response to a notification from the INPI.

However, the ordinance does not concern the priority periods for international extension, the periods of payment for the filing of a patent, nor the periods for filing a supplementary protection certificate, which fall under supra-national provisions.

Right holders are nonetheless invited to reply to the notifications and to undertake the necessary steps as soon as possible, in order to avoid clogging up the procedures at the end of the health emergency period. Indeed, during the containment period, the INPI members will continue to process requests normally while working remotely, since the INPI procedures are dematerialised and remain accessible at all times.

As a consequence of this ordinance, the Director of the INPI has rescinded his decision of 16 March 2020 that extended the limit for responding to the notifications of the INPI to 4 months.

On 13 May 2020, the ordinance of 25 March 2020 has been amended by the Government so that the end of the legally protected period no longer depends on the duration of the state of health emergency. The ordinance now states that the legally protected period will expire on 23 June 2020.

This implies that all deadlines falling between 12 March and 23 June 2020 included are postponed to 23 July 2020 if the original deadline was one month and to 23 August 2020 if the original deadline was two months or more.

Latest update 26.05.2020

Links

17 March 2020: Organization of the INPI to respond to the examination and issuance of certificates

19 March 2020: Time allowed in examination procedures

25 March 2020: Ordinance No 2020-306

26 March 2020: Postponement of deadlines due to sanitary crisis

26 March 2020: Decision No 2020-33 of the Director of the INPI

Consolidated version of Ordinance No 2020-306 on 15 May 2020

Courts

Status

On 25 March 2020, the Government issued a series of ordinances providing that all deadlines relating to proceedings before a court of the judiciary ruling in non-criminal matters and which should have been completed in a legally protected period extending from March 12 to one month after the end of the state of health emergency are postponed to:

- one month after the end of this period if the initial period was one month; and
- two months after the end of this period if the initial period was two months or more.

On 13 May 2020, these ordinances were amended by the Government so that the end of the legally protected period no longer depends on the duration of the state of health emergency. The ordinances now state that the legally protected period will expire on 23 June 2020.

This implies that all deadlines falling between 12 March and 23 June 2020 included are postponed to 23 July 2020 if the original deadline was one month and to 23 August 2020 if the original deadline was two months or more.

In parallel to these measures, the Judiciary Tribunal of Paris and the Court of Appeal of Paris (which are in charge of first and second instance IP litigation in France), whose activity had been nearly stopped since 16 March, are slowly restarting since the end of April.

To that end, both the Tribunal and the Court have decided to resort to proceedings without hearing, as allowed by Article 8 of Ordinance 2020-304 of 25 March 2020. This implies that the Tribunal or the Court is allowed to decide on the case without any oral hearing.

These proceedings should apply to all cases where:

- representation by an attorney is mandatory (which is always true for IP litigation), and
- the hearing has been canceled, which is true for:

- all hearings scheduled between 16 March and 10 May 2020 and have not been postponed,
- all hearings before the Tribunal scheduled between 11 May and 1st June 2020, and
- all hearings before the Court scheduled between 11 and 24 May 2020.

Nonetheless, the parties have the possibility to oppose to such proceedings, within 15 days of the communication informing them of the intention of the Tribunal or the Court to resort to such proceedings. The opposition of a single party is sufficient. If this is to happen, the case is put on hold until a date for a hearing can be scheduled.

Latest update 26.05.2020

Links

25 March 2020: Ordinance No 2020-306

25 March 2020: Ordinance No 2020-304

Consolidated version of Ordinance No 2020-306 on 15 May 2020

Ordinance No 59/2020 of the Judiciary Tribunal of Paris

Ordinance No 61/2020 of the Judiciary Tribunal of Paris

Ordinance No 124/2020 of the Court of Appeal of Paris


Gaza

IPO

Status

The Patent and Trademark Office announced that it has suspended operations until 5 April 2020. Deadlines falling between 22 March 2020 and 4 April 2020 are automatically extended to 5 April 2020.

Last updated 02.04.2020

Germany

IPO

Status

From 16 March 2020 onwards the information centres and research rooms of the DPMA will remain closed until further notice. There will be no on-site consultations. Customer service staff can still be reached by telephone and email. Delays are expected, in particular any paper-based/faxed mail to be sent/received (E-filing is recommended), the issuance of registration certificates, register extracts, apostilles and priority documents. Publication of IP gazettes are also likely to be affected. 

For all pending IP procedures, time limits set by the DPMA will be extended until 4 May 2020. The IPO has commented that all requests for an extension of a deadline are likely to be granted. Time limits set by law cannot be extended. However, any person who, owing to the current situation, has not observed a time limit imposed by law without any fault on his part can subsequently have their procedures re-established upon request and will be in the same position as if they had observed the time limit.

All hearings or oral proceedings until 30 June 2020 will be cancelled. Any 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). 


Latest update 04.05.2020
 
Links

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - continually updated information for customers, external partners and potential visitors

Courts

Status

Court hearings are slowly restarting. Some courts have adopted video hearings, other courts are holding in-person hearings under strict hygiene rules. Extensions of time limits in ongoing proceedings will be granted more generously than usual.

Latest update 04.05.2020

Guatemala

IPO

Status

The office is partially open during limited hours and for matters that are still pending. 

Latest update 14.04.2020

 

 

Hungary

IPO

Status

As of 16 March 2020 for an indefinite period opening hours are limited to Monday-Thursday between 10:00-12:00.

Queries shall be directed to the HIPO through phone and email. A toll free hotline has been introduced. File inspections are limited, based solely on agreed dates.

Primary electronic filing system and post shall be used. There is an automatic docketing machine available 24/7 in the central building of the HIPO.

No personal filings are possible.

Personal consultations are suspended as of 16 March for an indefinite period. Examiners can be reached via phone and e-mail.   

As of 3 April 2020, the HIPO published its much sought after communication on the calculation of deadlines, according to which.

Deadlines lapsing on 31 March or onward were automatically extended until 4 May 2020 (Monday).  Now according to the updated communication of the HIPO issued on 4 May 2020, deadlines lapsing on 31 March or onward are now automatically extended until 2 June 2020 (Tuesday). Deadlines lapsing after 2 June 2020 are unaffected. 

This is only applicable for deadlines that are set by the HIPO, i.e. not for statutory deadlines set out by IP legislation.

For statutory deadlines , section 1 of the new Government Decree No 74/2020 applies. Namely, that in case these deadlines cannot be observed, there is an option to file for a justification request. When calculating the deadline for filing such justification, the term of the state of emergency shall not be regarded .

 

Latest update 06.05.2020 

Links

Communication (on opening hours)

Communication (on deadlines)

Courts

Status

Courts are generally operating with certain procedural limitations and exceptions.

Art 1 of Government Decree No. 45/2020 (III.14.) as of 15 March 2020 declared an “extraordinary judicial break”, which apply for the time of the state of emergency.

As of 31 March 2020 (3pm) pursuant Government Decree No 74/2020 (III.31) the following rules apply:

  • Deadlines in civil, civil non-contentious, administrative court actions, criminal and enforcement proceedings are generally unaffected by the state of emergency.

  • Where possible court hearings on the merit are to be held by electronic means capable of transmitting audiovisual signals simultaneously.

  • Deadlines in civil, civil non-contentious and administrative court actions that are expiring between 15 March and 15 days from today shall automatically be extended by 30 April 2020.

  • There are special rules to certain procedural actions that usually require personal attendance from parties/representatives (such as preparatory hearing). These specific actions are amended as to avoid personal contacts and are defined by the Government Decree depending of the nature of the proceedings (being civil, civil non-contentious, company registration, criminal etc.).

  • These rules are applicable for all pending matters.

The extraordinary judicial break generally does not affect inter alia preliminary injunction proceedings or judicial enforcements.

Links

Communication

Latest update 31.03.2020

Indonesia (Beyond our Firm)

IPO

Status
The IPO's service counter will be closed up to 31 March 2020. However, any applications, letters and/or documents can still be submitted by online.

During this period, the IPO will be applying dispensations for any form of delay with regards to completeness of documents for applications which are due in March 2020.

Latest update 20.03.2020
 
Links

Communication

Iraq

IPO

Status
The Trademark Office has suspended all operations until 11 April 2020. Deadlines are automatically extended to the first working day.

Last updated 02.04.2020

Italy

IPO

Status

Suspension for the period between 23 February 2020 and 15 May 2020 of all terms (pending on February 23, 2020 or started after that date) relating to administrative proceedings, at the request of a party or ex officio.

Certificates, permits, concessions, authorizations and qualifications (however called), expiring between January 31 2020 and 15 April 2020, will remain valid until 15 June 2020.

Proceedings before the IPTO

The new Legislative Decree (8 April 2020 n. 23) increases the extent of the suspension measures already laid down by the Directorial Decree of March 11, 2020, as it extends the relevant period to all terms falling between 23 February 2020 and 15 May 2020, and also because it applies to all terms of the opposition proceedings (even to those excluded by the Directorial Decree);

Proceedings before the Board of Appeal

This suspension does not apply to the terms relating to appeals before the Board of Appeal, as they refer to judicial and non-administrative proceedings. Hearings and terms within said proceedings scheduled before 11 May 2020 are thus respectively postponed or suspended.

Maintenance or renewal of industrial property rights

Industrial property rights expiring between January 31 and April 15 will remain valid until June 15, 2020. After that the owners of the expiring rights have to actively apply to achieve its maintenance or renewal.  

Links

Suspension of all terms of administrative procedures and extension of the validity of expiring documents

Courts

Status

The new decree (8 April 2020 n. 23) has just extended the suspension period of all courts activities until 11 May 2020.

All hearings (with very few exceptions in any case not including IP matters) scheduled on a date between 9 March and 11 May 2020 are automatically postponed to another date (after 11 May).

Any deadline for the filing of any deed or brief scheduled from 9 March 2020 to 11 May 2020 in the above said proceedings, and including PI proceedings, are also suspended until May 11. In case the term starts to run during the suspension period, the beginning of the same is postponed after May 11.

Italian Courts are now issuing regulations for possibly substituting hearings that do not require the presence of persons other than the appointed counsel rather with written notes or telematics hearings. 

Latest update 08.05.2020

Jordan

IPO

Status
The Trade Mark Office has suspended all operations until 14 April 2020. Any application submitted online will not be dealt with until the office re-opens.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Kuwait

IPO

Status
The Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it will resume operations on 12 April 2020. Deadlines falling between 12 March 2020 and 11 April 2020 are automatically extended to 12 April 2020.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Lebanon

IPO

Status
The Trade Mark Office has suspended all operations until 14 April 2020.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Libya

IPO

Status
The Patent and Trademark Office announced that it has suspended operations until 6 April 2020. Deadlines falling between 22 March 2020 and 5 April 2020 are automatically extended to 6 April 2020.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Mexico

IPO

Status

The National PTO will be closed from March 27 until April 19, 2020. 

All terms and deadlines have been suspended until April 20, 2020. 

Online system is not available.

Latest update 25.03.2020

 

Morocco

IPO

Status

The Patent and Trade Mark Office is only accepting online trade mark applications.

All deadlines are suspended until further notice

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Oman

IPO

Status

The Patent and Trademark Office announced that it has suspended all operations until further notice.

Deadlines are automatically extended to the first working day.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Panamá

IPO

Status

The National PTO will be closed until April 21, 2020. 

Deadlines and terms have been suspended until further notice. 

Online system is not available.

Latest update 25.03.2020


 

Paraguay

IPO

Status

The National PTO is closed. 

All terms and deadlines have been suspended until April 19, 2020. 

Online system is not available.

Latest update 14.04.2020

Status

Communication

 
 

Peru

IPO

Status

The National PTO will be closed until May 7, 2020. 

All terms and deadlines have been suspended until May 7, 2020. 

Fillings are available through their online system

Latest update 14.04.2020

Status

Communication

 

 


 

Poland

IPO

Status

The Polish Patent Office cancelled/suspended all hearings in contentious matters (oppositions, invalidations) from 16 March 2020. On 18 May 2020 the Patent Office announced that it resumes proceeding in all contentious matters. The Office is starting to schedule first hearing dates for mid-June.

From 31 March 2020, all administrative proceedings are suspended, including those before the Patent Office. The suspension will be lifted on 22 May.

In addition, all deadlines for filing trademark oppositions and translations of European patents which fall between 8 March and 30 June 2020 are deemed not to have started, and will restart on 1 July 2020. Any acts of parties committed during that term remain valid.
 

Courts

Status

After a two-month period of only considering urgent cases (such as those concerning arrests), the courts have recently started to set hearing dates in non-urgent cases as well.

Remote hearings were introduced as a default option in civil and administrative law cases during the epidemic state and one year after its cancellation. More cases will also be considered in closed-door hearings (without the presence of the parties).

Some courts have made it possible to file means of appeal in PDF by e-mail.

From 31 March 2020, all court deadlines are suspended, but any acts of parties committed during that term remain valid. The suspension will be lifted on 22 May.

Latest update 19.05 2020

Qatar

IPO

Status
The Intellectual Property office is only accepting new filing applications. All other matters are suspended until further notice.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Saudi Arabia

IPO

Status
The Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) announced that it is operating online. Applicants cannot submit original documents until further notice.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Singapore

IPO

Status

No communication from the IPO.

Latest update 16.03.2020   

Courts

Status

Courts and the IP Office are still hearing matters. There are stringent checks for those entering the premises, but there has been no shut down of services or adjournment of hearings.

Latest update 16.03.2020

Slovakia

IPO

Status

No communication from the IPO.

Latest update 16.03.2020 

Courts

Status

All hearings are postponed but procedural deadlines are ongoing.

Latest update 16.03.2020

Spain

IPO

Status

On 14 March the Spanish Government declared the State of Alert. Subject to review, it will last at least until 6 June (included).

All deadlines in administrative proceedings have been suspended until the State of Alert is lifted. The Spanish Office has clarified that the deadlines will be resumed by just adding on the remaining business days for their expiration when the State of Alert was first declared. For instance if a deadline was to expire on 17 March, the new deadline expires on 14 April.

The Spanish Office will continue those proceedings where the party involved has given its authorization (for instance, a renewal filed during the State of Alert, despite the suspension described above).

The Government will lift the suspension on June 1. 

Latest update 28.05.2020
 

Links

16 March Communication

25 March Communication

Courts

Status

On 14 March the Spanish Government declared the State of Alert. Subject to review, it will last at least until 6 June (included).

During the State of Alert hearings and all judicial deadlines have been suspended, including prescriptions and limitation of actions. As in other jurisdictions, there are some exceptions such as family and employment law (essential proceedings).

In relation to IP cases, courts may be willing to conduct any judicial proceedings that are necessary to avoid irreparable harm to the rights and legitimate interests of the parties. The latter includes preliminary injunctions in IP cases, although it is likely that the courts will be more restrictive than in normal circumstances.

However, from 15 April already initiated non-essential proceedings will be carried out until there is a deadline to comply with, which will stay suspended during the State of Alert. Also, new non-essential proceedings may be initiated but will be suspended as soon as there is a deadline for any of the parties (for instance, a new claim may be filed but not its answer).

The deadlines expiring during the State of Alert will be reinitiated once it is lifted. In non-essential proceedings, the deadlines concerning appeals against decisions served during the State of Alert or within the twenty following working days will be doubled. The hearings taking place during the State of Alert (essential proceedings) or within the three months following its lift (all proceedings) will be held electronically where technically possible.

The Government will lift the suspension on June 4.

Latest update 28.05.2020

Links

General Council of the Judiciary communication

13 April Communication

Royal Decree concerning judicial measures

Sudan

IPO

Status
The Trade Mark Office is accepting new filing applications only. All other services are suspended until further notice.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Sweden

IPO

Status

Until further notice, the opening hours of the Swedish IPO's offices in Stockholm and Söderhamn are limited to 9:00-11:00 am.

The majority of the IPO's staff works from home and the processing of paper forms and correspondence is limited. The IPO therefore encourage customers to make use of the IPO's electronic services.

Upon request the IPO can extend the time period to respond to a technical injunction in a patent matter from two to four months.

The IPO follows WIPO's recommendation to authorities within the PCT system to not charge late payment fees in patent matters.

If oral hearings are required these will be held digitally.

Latest updated 06.05.2020.

Links

Information for customers in regard of the Corona Pandemic

Courts

Status

The Swedish courts are operational, but with stretched resources and many court employees working from home. The decision on how to handle the current situation lies with the separate courts and varies between the courts. 

Visitors and participants in court proceeding who have respiratory symptoms (cough, breathing difficulties or fever) are advised to not visit the courts. Some courts have shortened the register's opening hours. Further, some court hearings have been suspended due to parties, counsels or witnesses being ill. There have also been some procedural impediments due to older lay judges not being able to attend hearings. However, the courts are able to call in replacements, and a hearing can continue even if a lay judge should become sick. Lay judges sit in on, for example, criminal cases and family law cases and some IP proceedings, but not civil cases. 

Some courts in Stockholm, which has been the most affected by COVID-19 so far, have decided to suspend all court hearings that are not urgent for the time being. IP matters have not been specifically targeted. 

Swedish procedural law allows for hearings to be conducted via video conference or telephone, when deemed suitable. Swedish courts have regularly used this technology and they now use it even more than normally.

All deadlines for submissions set by the courts are still valid and the courts will not extend deadlines of their own accord. These can be extended at the concerned party's request if a reasonable explanation has been presented. However, statutory deadlines, such as deadlines to appeal, cannot be extended by the courts regardless of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Latest update 06.05.2020 

Syria

IPO

Status
The Intellectual Property Office has suspended operations until further notice. Deadlines falling during the time of suspension will be extended to the first working day after the suspension has been lifted.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Tunisia

IPO

Status

The Patent and Trade Mark Office announced that it has suspended operations until 20 April 2020.

Deadlines falling between 23 March 2020 and 19 April 2020 are extended to 20 April 2020

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Turkey

IPO

Status
The Patent and Trademark Office announced that it will remain operational during the pandemic. However, all procedural deadlines (including opposition and appeal terms, payment terms of the official fees, etc.) expiring between 13 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 are suspended.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

UAE

IPO

Status

The Trade Mark Office online services such as filings, renewals, searches, oppositions, various payments, etc. are fully active, however, for anyone who needs to visit the TMO, a health form must be filed beforehand. In addition, physical attendance at hearings has been suspended and will be run virtually. Memos usually submitted during hearings will be sent via emails and the minutes of hearings will also be circulated via email to the parties.

Notary Public services, in all branches, have suspended operations from 29 March 2020 until 9 April 2020. During this period, services will be conducted remotely and all requests should be sent via email. A reduction in fees is also expected to be announced in early April.

Last update 02.04.2020

Uruguay

IPO

Status

The National PTO is open and working. 

Deadlines and terms have not been suspended. 

Online system is available.

Latest update 25.03.2020

 

 


 

United Kingdom

IPO

Status

The UKIPO has decided to declare 24 March, and subsequent days until further notice, interrupted days. An ‘interrupted day’ is a day in which the normal course of business at the IPO is not possible.

Following the UKIPO’s initial review on 17 April 2020, a further review was conducted on 7 May 2020 to provide updated guidelines and maintain the period of ‘interrupted days’ until the UKIPO’s next review on 28 May 2020.

This means that any deadlines for

  • patents;

  • supplementary protection certificates;

  • trade marks;

  • designs,

and applications for these rights, which fall on an interrupted day will be extended until the IPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period.
The UKIPO has stated that it will give 2 weeks' notice before ending the interrupted days period. 

Nonetheless, the IPO has encouraged customers to continue to work to existing deadlines if possible. Interrupted days have been introduced as a safety net where the normal course of business is not possible.

Hearings will operate online and via Skype and telephone and no physical hearings will be booked or take place until 1st June 2020 (subject to review).
The office is unable to process paper forms, faxes and paper correspondence and no documents can be filed by hand. The UKIPO has requested that all rights holders and IP professionals continue to file as normal using their online services and communicate digitally whenever possible. For services that are not available online, an email address has been set up called [email protected] which can be used instead of faxing or posting documents.

The UKIPO is no longer processing documents by fax and the posting out of documents and notifications has been suspended.

Further information on alterations to services for patents, trade marks and designs can be found on the IPO website.

Latest update 22.05.2020

Links

Formal Notice - Interrupted Days

Certificate of Declaration

Communication

Courts

Status

The information below only applies to the courts of England & Wales (apart from the UKSC).

Courts are still operational, but with many restrictions. 

Judges will decide whether a hearing is necessary and if so, whether it will take place fully or partly remotely. Arrangements have been put in place to use telephone, video and other technology to continue as many hearings as possible remotely.  Guidance from the courts  is changing on a weekly basis as restrictions begin to ease slowly.

Any changes to individual hearings will be communicated directly to those affected, usually by email and/or phone. 

The Supreme Court building closed on 23 March 2020 and is now conducting hearings entirely via video conferencing facilities.  More information as to papers for filing, time limits, applications for extensions of time, orders and costs can be found on the Supreme Court website.

The High Court is covering work according to the High Court Contingency Plan and Court of Appeal Civil Division is covering work according to the RCJ Court of Appeal Civil urgent business priorities. More detailed guidance can be found on the HMCTS Operational Summary website page. This is now updated on a weekly basis.

The Royal Courts of Justice Fees Office has temporarily closed.

The coronavirus bill published by the Department of Health and Social Care expands the availability of video and audio link in court proceedings.  Skype for Business and Cloud Video Platform are being used for remote hearings.

New Practice Directions have been introduced. PD 51Y deals with public access to court hearings that are conducted remotely. PD 51ZA deals with the extension of time limits (enabling parties to agree to extensions of time, without applying to the court, of 56 days in certain circumstances).  

Latest update 26.05.2020

Links

HMCTS: Remote hearings during coronavirus outbreak

HMCTS: Guidance for court and tribunal users during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak


Supreme Court: Building closure

Supreme Court: Registry Update

PD 51Y

PD 51ZA

HMCTS Daily Operational Summary

Supreme Court: Arrangements during the coronavirus pandemic

118th Practice Direction (PD) Update

 

Venezuela

IPO

Status

The National PTO is closed. 

Deadlines and terms suspended until further notice. 

Online system is not available.

Latest update 25.03.2020

 
 

 


 

West Bank

IPO

Status
The Patent and Trademark Office announced that it has suspended operations until 6 April 2020. Deadlines falling between 22 March 2020 and 5 April 2020 are automatically extended to 6 April 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.

Last updated 02.04.2020 

Yemen

IPO

Status
The Patent and Trademark Office announced that it has suspended operations until 6 April 2020. Deadlines falling between 22 March 2020 and 5 April 2020 are automatically extended to 6 April 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.

Last updated 02.04.2020