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Covid-19 Status Updates affecting IP Rights

23 March 2020

Last Updated: Wednesay 1 April 2020.

Whilst we will endeavour to update this page as developments occur, we cannot guarantee the currency of information on this page. Applicants should check the websites of the relevant IP Offices or contact us or their IP Adviser for further information.

Xuveo Legal Status: OPEN for Business

We remain OPEN for business at this time. Our Office will be closed for the Easter Public Holidays on Friday 10 April 2020 and Monday 13 April 2020.

As the majority of work we complete is via online lodgement and electronic communications, Xuveo Legal is well-equiped for a remote work environment.

Due to Australian government restrictions on non-essential travel and gatherings, appointments will be conducted by telephone or video conferencing, wherever possible.

IP Australia Status - Australian Domestic Applications

At the time of writing IP Australia remains OPEN and is processing applications, however, this status may change at short notice. IP right applicants should be prepared for closures and processing delays due to service interruptions.

Applicants and IP Right Holders should remain aware of existing deadlines (eg deadline for acceptance and renewal) and seek extensions of time as necessary.

At this stage, IP Australia has not announced automatic extensions of time.

Extensions of Time and fee waivers and refunds for hardship and other reasons will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Nevertheless, if an extension of time is necessary, applicants should endeavour to request extensions before the deadline passes wherever possible. Fees may continue to apply to requests for extension of time.

It should be noted that some deadlines are non-extendable.

IP Australia has released the following statement regarding extensions of time:

Published: 19 March 2020

Extensions of Time for Patents, Trade Marks and Designs

IP Australia recognises that the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented situation that may have an impact on the ability of applicants and their representatives to process applications.

Where an applicant cannot carry out an action within time due to the COVID-19 outbreak an extension of time may be available. Requests for extensions of time will need to be made in the normal way, accompanied where required by a declaration setting out how the COVID-19 outbreak interfered with responding in time. Requests for waiver or refund of the fee for the extension of time will be considered on a case by case basis as per our current practice.

Applicants should note that some time periods cannot be extended. Applicants should check with IP Australia or an intellectual property professional if they are uncertain whether an extension of time is possible.

As at 20 March 2020, Opposition Hearings are being proceeding by teleconference or video conference only, or via written submissions.

Please refer to the IP Australia Covid-19 Status Page for further information.

WIPO - Madrid Protocol Trade Marks, etc

At the time of writing, WIPO remains OPEN for business. However, applicants may experience processing delays due to operational restrictions.

Applicants should remain vigilant regarding deadlines, as WIPO has not announced that automatic extensions of time will apply. Requests for extensions of time may be considered on a case-by-case basis provided that sufficient reasons are supplied (eg disruption to mail or internet services, imposition of quarantine or lock-down.) Some types of extensions of time may be granted without requiring supprting evidence.

WIPO has announced measures including:

  • suspension of physical mail due to government restrictions and international disruption to postal services;
  • notifications will continue to be delivered electronically, where applicants have supplied an email address;
  • restrictions on obtaining physical copy certified documents and extracts, and services for legalisation of documents.

WIPO has issued the following announcements:

Date Title
- WIPO Madrid Protocol (Trade Marks) News Release Webpage
- WIPO "In Focus - 2020" News Release Webpage
31 March 2020 Covid-19 Update: Madrid System (updated from 25 March)
20 March 2020 Covid-19 Update: WIPO's IP Services (business continuity and maintenance of services)
20 March 2020 Covid-19: Remedies and Extension of Time Limits Available for Madrid System Users (replaced by subsequent announcements)
17 March 2020 Update on Covid-19 (cancellation of meetings and events, closure of offices to the public)
16 March 2020 WIPO Update on Covid-19: IP Service Operations Continuing; Remote Work Prioritized

Other International Intellectual Property Offices

Some international offices have announced closures and/or automatic extensions for processing IP right applications.

IP Right holders and applicants should check the website of the IP Office in relevant jursidction for up to date information or contact their IP adviser. 

The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) has compiled a listing of links to international IP Office statuses and notices: here

Again, we caution that applicants should not rely upon automatic extensions being available at any given IP Office, and should endeavour to comply with existing deadlines wherever possible. In the event that an extension of time is necessary, appropriate requests should be made to the relevant IP Office as early as possible. It should be noted that some deadlines may be non-extendable.

This post is intended for general information only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should obtain appropriate professional advice for your circumstances or contact us for further assistance.


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