We're working as usual
We hope you are safe and healthy during this COVID19 pandemic.
HBA is functioning remotely, keeping track of and responding to client deadlines.
We are also monitoring the announcements from the various patent offices as to what kinds of relief they are offering for businesses and inventors having trouble due to COVID19. We will update this page as we receive announcements.
We are here to help you in whatever way you need.
Update 14 May 2020
Canada has now automatically extended all deadlines to 1 June 2020 and may provide further extensions later.
Update 7 May 2020
The USPTO, EPO and Korean Patent Office have announced extensions due to COVID19:
Korea: all deadlines falling between 30Apr and 30 May will automatically be extended to 31 May 2020.
USPTO: Any deadlines due between 27Mar and 31May are extended to 1Jun, as long as they are with a statement that the delay was due to COVID-19.
EPO: All deadlines due on or after 15 March are extended until 2 June
Update 30 April 2020
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is also providing extensions for patent, trademark, and industrial design deadlines that fall due between 16 March 2020 and 15 May 2020. They are currently automatically extended until 19 May 2020. See http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr04767.html
Update: 23 April 2020
All three of the patent offices through which we file directly (USPTO, ILPTO, WIPO-PCT) are online and have been available for filings. Our associates abroad, with whom we are in email contact, also report no filing problems.
We are also monitoring the announcements from the various patent offices as to what kinds of relief they are offering for businesses and inventors having trouble due to COVID19. Some relief was announced a while ago, but there have been a flood of announcements the past two days, right after I posted an article on my blog, The Patent Pen, about patent deadlines during the pandemic (http://www.thepatentpen.com/blog).
If you have any COVID19 inventions
Please be in contact with us. There are some interesting developments to encourage these. Some of them are:
The ILPTO just announced an initiative to encourage COVID19 inventions. They said that any invention which can prevent, treat or slowdown the coronavirus is eligible to be designated as a "green" application, which will be fast-tracked. Examination on these applications will start in 3 months from designation as a green application.
Other companies are acting to encourage COVID19 inventions. For example, there is now an Open COVID Pledge, in which a number of large companies have pledged to make their intellectual property available free of charge for use in ending the COVID19 pandemic and minimizing the impact of the disease. See https://opencovidpledge.org/
My search associate, Sagacious IP, has offered some free research for COVID19 innovations.
If you can't focus on your patent portfolio at this time or are having budget issues
There are some extensions available. Let us know if you need to take an extension:
The USPTO has announced extensions to some of its deadlines under the CARES Act, in which most deadlines falling between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020 may be extended by 30 days, subject to filing a statement that the delay was due to the COVID-19 outbreak. See https://www.uspto.gov/patent/laws-and-regulations/cares-act-faqs.
Israel will be providing extensions as well, though this has not been finalized yet.
The European Patent Office extended some deadlines expiring from March 15, 2020 to April 17, 2020, which it then extended to May 4, 2020. https://www.epo.org/news-issues/covid-19.html Note that they will also recognize hardships which expired beforehand, though not for everyone. These will require petitioning for relief.
The Innovation Authority just announced an initiative to help startups who have been hit by COVID19 - a faster path to R&D grants, particularly for startups who were moving forward when COVID19 came and slowed them down. These grants will be available until September 15, 2020. Check out https://innovationisrael.org.il/RnDfund-quick-process