COVID-19 Patent Office / IP Office Status


Last updated:  March 31, 2020 (Please refresh your browser to ensure you are viewing the latest version of this page)

Disclaimer:  this list is provided for general information and does not constitute legal or patent agency advice. 

Patent applicants and other IP owners / applicants should consult with their IP counsel to advise them regarding any deadlines and available extensions.


Canadian Intellectual Property Office:


·      Highlights:

o   Almost all Canadian patent, trademark and industrial design deadlines falling between March 16, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are extended to May 1, 2020

o   See March 24 Update below for deadlines that are not extended

o   PCT international phase deadlines are beyond CIPO’s control and are not extended


CIPO Updates 2020 March 16, 27 and 30:

·      Almost all patent, industrial design and trademark deadlines falling between March 16, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are extended to May 1, 2020. 

·      CIPO headquarters in Gatineau remains open and in operation

·      Regional offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal are closed and will not be receiving CIPO correspondence until further notice (this does not affect Carbon Patent Group’s ability to file electronically)

·      Significant delays expected in all services

·      CIPO is not fulfilling document requests until further notice

·      For trademark deadlines falling after May 1, 2020, the Registrar will consider the disruption caused by COVID-19 a sufficient circumstance to obtain an extension of time under sections 47(1) and 47(2) of the Act upon request


CIPO Frequently Asked Questions & Answers, 2020 March 24: 

·      CIPO has posted 22 Frequently Asked Questions and their Answers.  Some highlights:

o   Questions 3 and 5 are now outdated and incorrect regarding deadlines from April 1-30, 2020, see March 27 Update above.

o   Questions 4 and 10 note that the following deadlines are not extended: 

§  Patent Application Publication 18 months after the priority date

§  The deadlines for additions to the specification and drawings in Section 28.01 of the Patent Act cannot be extended more than 6 months after the earliest date on which the Commissioner receives any document or information under subsection 28(1) of the Patent Act.

§  The periods for appeal defined in subsections 18(2), 48.5(2) of the Act

§  The limitation set out in subsections 36(2) and 36(2.1) requiring a divisional application to be filed before issuance of the original application

§  PCT international phase filing, priority and other deadlines are beyond CIPO’s control or discretion to extend

o   Questions 15-21 suggest that CIPO will generally cease issuing Office Actions or other Office Letters during the designated extension days, with the exceptions that CIPO will continue to:

§  Issue patents (which in turn creates a divisional filing deadline, see Question 4);

§  Function as the ISA / IPEA for PCT international phase applications;  and

§  Conduct examination interviews. 




·      Deadlines have not (yet) been extended)


USPTO Update 2020 March 19:

·      Original signature requirement waived for credit card fee payments and correspondence with Office of Enrollment & Discipline


USPTO Update 2020 March 16:

·      Petition fees waived for petitions to revive patent and trademark applications that fell abandoned due to coronavirus delays.


USPTO Update 2020 March 15

·      Patent and trademark deadlines are NOT extended

·      USPTO closed to the public as of March 16, 2020

·      USPTO remains open to its staff and in operation




·      Deadlines have not (yet) been extended)


WIPO Update 2020 March 30:

·      WIPO is suspending the sending of any PCT documents in paper form until further notice.  All official communications will be sent by e-mail.  Applicants are urged to communicate electronically with the International Bureau. 


WIPO Update 2020 March 17:

·      PCT International Bureau (IB) and IB as PCT Receiving Office remain open for filing and processing PCT applications

·      Most staff working remotely but essential staff remain on premises

·      Practical Advice included in recent March 20 newsletter, including automatic extensions of PCT deadlines (including national phase entry and Paris Convention) if a Receiving Office (RO), International Searching Authority (ISA), International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) or the International Bureau (IB) closes and is not accepting application filings or correspondence – PCT Rule 80.5(i), PCT Article 8, Paris Convention Article 4(C)(3)

·      Trademarks (Madrid):  Notice dated March 19, 2020 summarizes the usual available remedies for missed time limits

·      Designs (Hague):  Notice dated March 19, 2020 summarizes the usual available remedies for missed time limits




EPO Update 2020 March 30:

·      All deadlines falling on or after March 15, 2020 (including PCT national/regional entry in the EPO) are automatically extended to April 17, 2020.

·      Official Notice indicates that relief under Rule 134(5) may be available for documents filed late due to mail service disruptions

·      All oral proceedings before the examining and opposition divisions scheduled through April 17, 2020 are postponed unless already confirmed for videoconference

·      All oral proceedings before appeal boards scheduled through April 17, 2020 are postponed

·      All EPO-organized events in March, April and May are postponed

·      European Qualifying Examination (pre-exam and main exam papers) are cancelled

·      External partners requested to abstain from visiting the EPO if they have recently visited a high-risk area

·      A Notice explains how the fee increase scheduled for April 1, 2020 will apply




EUIPO Update 2020 March 19:

·      All EUIPO trademark and community design deadlines falling between March 9, 2020 and April 30, 2020 have been extended to Friday May 1, 2020 (a public holiday), thus effectively to May 4, 2020, by a decision of the Executive Director.


OTHER COUNTRIES / JURISDICTIONS:  Please see other compilations from third parties unaffiliated with the Carbon Patent Group:


·      American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA):  Coronavirus Updates & Resources

·      World Trademark Review:  Live updates: IP offices implement measures in wake of coronavirus crisis

·      IP Stars:  IP Offices react to COVID-19 – live updates




Carbon Patent Group

1 - 64 Holland Street West, P.O. Box 173, Bradford, Ontario, L3Z 2A8, Canada

Telephone: 416-628-8308