Coronavirus Digest No. 3: Patents and Other Intellectual Property Rights 

August, 2020 - Pedro Lomba, Manuel Lopes Rocha, Eduardo Nogueira Pinto, Vitor Palmela Fidalgo (Inveta)

The world is desperately seeking a vaccine and treatments against COVID-19 and the answer will also be found in intellectual property. For this reason, PLMJ and Inventa International have joined forces to prepare a Digest on these issues that is continuously updated. Readers of this Digest will have complete and up-to-date information on the crossover between the area of intellectual property and the challenges of COVID-19, especially regarding patents and utility models, as well as all the information on the path to obtaining a vaccine.

1. Provisional measures of the national and international Public Institutions and new features to assist in the matter of patents:

Within the context of the current pandemic, the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI), by legal imposition, started to operate exclusively through the online services available on its webpage. Thus, the calculation of deadlines was taken up once again on April 16, 2020, acts performed by interested parties are carried out by the legal deadlines provided in the IPC or in the notifications issued by the INPI. For further information consult INPI’s web page .

Within the context of the current pandemic, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) adopted a plan for the personnel to return to facilities, nearly 70 workers having voluntarily returned to the Institute, while the others continue under the telework regime. The extension of time limits that had been granted since the beginning of the pandemic, by the Executive Director of the Institute, Christian Archambeau, ended on May 18. Subsequent extensions and the possibility of recourse to other solutions to continue the registration process can be consulted at the webpage of the Institute.

The Executive Director, Christian Archambeau, in a video recently published (on July 24) on the Institute’s web page provided information on the plan to return, at the beginning of September, to physical work at the EUIPO facilities. He also referred to mentions the latest trademark registration trends at the Institute (with an increase in EU trademark registration applications for this time of the year, when compared to previous years) and provided information on the new “Ideas Powered for Business” portal, which aims to support small and medium enterprises within the context of the pandemic, providing PRO BONO help. The said video is available here.

Within the context of the current pandemic, the European Patent Office (EPO) decided to postpone until further instructions, all the oral sessions in exams and scheduled oppositions until December 31, 2020, that have not yet been carried out by videoconference, as well as the postponement of all events organized by the Institute also until December 31. These and other information about the processing of patent applications can be consulted, in the most recent publication of the Institute (that of August 3) in the respective web page.

Within the context of the current pandemic, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) implemented a protocol to lend continuity to its services, having opted for teleworking, maintaining, however, just a small part of its employees at the headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. More information about the organization’s response to COVID-19 can be found on its web page, here.

WIPO has created what it calls “COVID-19 IP POLICY TRACKER”, a repository with information on the measures adopted by the IP Institutes all over the world in response to the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus.

WIPO also launched a new search tool for its global patents database, PATENTSCOPE. The main objective of this WIPO COVID-19 search tool for PATENTSCOPE is to make it easier to locate and retrieve information in the published documents of the patents, which may come to be useful for researchers who are developing new technologies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The news can be found here.

To read the article in full, go here


Link to article


WSG Member: Please login to add your comment.