Kindly note that our Helsinki head office will be closed for the Easter weekend from Friday 10 April to Monday 13 April and will be fully operational again on Tuesday 14 April.
Information about possible exceptional arrangements at the patent offices in Finland, Russia and Eurasia due to coronavirus pandemic
Last updated: 7 April 2020 at 9.30 am Finnish time
The local patent and trademark offices in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan have not informed of any exceptional arrangements or adjustments to due dates nor to the allowable extensions due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for the moment.
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 will be partly open from 28 March until 30 April 2020. All due dates during this period will be postponed to 6 May 2020 (1 – 5 May are days off in Russia).
Applications may be filed electronically during this period. Some restrictions are in place regarding receipt of correspondence in paper format.
The Eurasian Patent Office, EAPO
EAPO automatically postpones all due dates that fall between 28 March and 5 May to 6 May 2020.
With respect to documents which must be filed in original on paper (certified copies of priority documents, etc.), the EAPO allows such documents to be submitted electronically, while the originals can be sent later, within one month from the date of lifting the restrictions.
The Patent Office of Azerbaijan will be closed until 29 April 2020. This means that currently no official notifications, certificates or decisions will be issued. Further, it will be possible to file documents and obtain any information only starting from 30 April 2020. All due dates during the closure will be postponed to 30 April 2020.
Georgia has announced State Emergency until 21 April 2020. This means that there will be several restrictions, including the Patent Office. For example, all Court hearings are currently postponed until further notice.
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.
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