It is unfortunate, but true, that the COVID-19 outbreak in China has potentially caused delay in patent application matters or even missed deadlines, raising concerns in domestic and foreign applicants
We have therefore summarized the following guidance for restoration of time limits according to CNIPA’s announcement (Notice No350) and explanations thereof
This guidance is applicable to patents as well as trademarks and layout designs of integrated circuits
Which time limits can be restored?
Applicable: all common time limits during application procedures (except for the "Non-applicable" below), such as the time limit for responding to the Office Action or for payment of fees
Non-applicable: ① time limits for claiming priority, ② grace period for patent novelty, ③ term of protection, and ④ limitation of action for infringement
Can foreign applicants request for restoration of rights?
Yes It applies to foreign applicants/right holders as well as their agencies for IP matters in China (eg, Chinese IP firms)
When to request?
Within 2 months from the date of removal of the obstacle, but within 2 years from the date of expiration of the time limit at the latest
-Request form for restoration of rights: if it is COVID-19 outbreak-related, mark "force majeure/irresistible cause" in "Reason for requesting restoration of rights";
-Statement of reasons: if it is COVID-19 outbreak-related, one may, for example, state that the party was being quarantined or infected, that the premises were closed or under traffic control, or that the offices were prevented from opening due to the government’s order, etc; and
-Supporting materials: no specific formality requirement If it is COVID-19 outbreak-related, one may, for example, consider submitting the doctor’s records of the party being diagnosed with and/or treated for COVID-19, or the official notice or announcement for control /closure issued by the local administrative agency, etc
Note that,if a time limit for patent or circuit layout design was missed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in a region announcing First-Level Response to Major Outbreak of Public Health Event, no supporting material is required
If multiple requests for restoration of rights are to be submitted for the same reason, one may provide only one set of supporting materials and referring to the same inthe multiple requests, respectively
If the rights were lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there is no official fee for a request for restoration of rights For other reasons, the official fee is RMB 1,000
For further information,please contact pt@aciplawcom