Read the article in the latest issue of the World Intellectual Property Review (issue 4/2022) written by our European Trademark Attorney Riikka Palmos.
Information about possible exceptional arrangements at the patent offices in Finland, Russia and Eurasia due to coronavirus pandemic
Last updated: 28 July at 14.30 pm Finnish time
The local patent and trademark offices in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine have not informed of any adjustments to due dates nor to the allowable extensions due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for the moment. However, many Examiners are working remotely and for example hearings are currently postponed.
The following exceptional arrangements are in place:
At the request of the applicant, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) can extend the deadline for special reasons. If you cannot meet the deadline because of the coronavirus, PRH considers it a special reason. The request, together with a statement of reasons, must be filed before the deadline the request concerns expires.
If the deadline is laid down by law, for instance concerning due dates of annual fees, priority year, or validation of European patents in Finland, PRH cannot extend the deadline. If an applicant suffers a loss of right, they can request restoration of rights as set out in the Finnish Patents Act and Act on Utility Model Rights (section 71a of the Patents Act and section 26a of the Act on Utility Model Rights).
PRH will take into account the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus when they consider deadline extensions. PRH extends deadlines easier if the customer cannot act by the deadline due to the coronavirus. Customers must pay an extension fee for each extension request.
PRH cannot extend the absolute deadlines for renewing trademarks or for submitting oppositions against registered trademarks.
PRH will take into account the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus when they consider deadline extensions. PRH extends deadlines easier if the customer cannot act by the deadline due to the coronavirus.
PRH cannot extend the absolute deadlines for renewing design registrations or for submitting oppositions against registered designs.
The Patent Office of Russia has announced about a possibility to extend due dates that fall between 30 March 2020 and 30 November 2020 until 31 December 2020. The possibility applies to all due dates, including trademark renewals and patent annuity payments.
Expired due dates:
Terms which have expired during 30 March – 22 June 2020 can still be extended provided that a request for the extension is filed by 22 July 2020.
Pending due dates:
Due dates that expire during 23 June – 30 November 2020 can be extended until 31 December 2020 provided that a request for the extension will be filed at the latest within one month after the expiry of the due date.
Restrictions in Azerbaijan are still in place. The patent office is operating only partly during this time. Delays in communication is expected.
Restrictions in Uzbekistan are in place until 15 August 2020. The patent office is operating only partly during this time. Delays in communication is expected. Documents only in electronic format are accepted currently.
In other countries (Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova) delays in communication with the patent offices are still possible due to special circumstances.
We are confident that all patent offices will be flexible in this exceptional situation and will accept late filing of documents and extensions of term when a proper explanation is provided.
You can be assured that we will take all the necessary measures and are closely following all announcements given by the patent offices on any exceptional arrangements made in this crisis situation to ensure that all our clients’ IP rights will remain in force.
Please do not hesitate to contact us in any questions.