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Remedies for Procedures before National Intellectual Property Administration, People’s Republic of China When Affected by Coronavirus and Some Administrative Measures

10

APR

2020

On 28 January 2020, National Intellectual Property Administration, PRC (CNIPA) issued a public notice on Time Limits for Handling Affairs Regarding Patents, Trademarks and Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits under the Impact of the COVID-19 Epidemic (Notice No. 350). The main content is as follows:

1. Where a party loses its rights as a result of a delay in relation to any time limit under the Patent Law and its Implementation Rules or as indicated by the CNIPA, and where such delay is attributable to any causes related to the COVID-19 epidemic, the provisions of Article 6.1 of the Implementation Rules shall apply. The party may, within 2 months after the impediment is removed, but no later than 2 years after the expiration of the time limit, request a restoration of rights. Where a request for such a restoration is made, no request fee shall be paid, but a request letter for restoration of rights shall be submitted to explain the grounds of doing so, relevant certifications shall be attached, and the formalities required to be completed before the loss of rights shall be carried out.

2. Where a party is unable to handle trademark-related affairs normally as a result of a delay in relation to any time limit under the Trademark Law and its Implementation Regulations or as indicated by the CNIPA, and where such delay is attributable to any causes related to the COVID-19 epidemic, such time limit shall, unless otherwise provided by law, be suspended from the day on which such impediment to the exercise of the rights occurs and shall continue to be calculated on the day when such impediment is removed; Where the party loses its trademark rights as a result of the impediment, a written application for restoration of rights explaining the causes attached with relevant certifications may be filed within 2 months after such impediment to the exercise of the rights is removed.

3. Where a party loses its rights as a result of a delay in relation to any time limit under the Regulations on the Protection of Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits or as indicated by the China National Intellectual Property Administration, and where such delay is attributable to any causes related to the COVID-19 epidemic, the provisions of Article 9.1 of the Regulations on the Protection of Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits shall apply. The party may, within 2 months after the impediment is removed, but no later than 2 years after the expiration of the time limit, request a restoration of its rights. Where a request for such a restoration is made, no request fee shall be paid, but a request letter for restoration of rights shall be submitted to explain the grounds of doing so, relevant certifications shall be attached, and the formalities required to be completed before the loss of rights shall be carried out.

Later on, the CNIPA further announced that remedies are applicable to any interested parties of all countries and regions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CNIPA also took effective measures to prioritize examination on patent and trademark applications concerning prevention and treatment of the coronavirus; encourage online filing through the internet; and advocate recordation of intellectual property pledge to relieve financial difficulties of some IP right owners’.

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