China - Covid-19 IP Update: Intellectual Property Office Developments.
Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - China - Intellectual Property
24 March, 2020
On 28 January 2020, CNIPA (China's National Intellectual Property Administration) published its Notice 350 (see here, in Chinese), which is applicable to both trademark and patent matters. According to the Notice, the CNIPA remains open during the coronavirus epidemic, and as a general rule, deadlines can be suspended starting from the day of the 'appearance of an obstacle' (e.g. local epidemic control restrictions) and resume after the day of the 'elimination of an obstacle' (e.g. after the epidemic control restrictions have been lifted). As to patents, the Notice also specifies that if an applicant misses a deadline because of epidemic control measures, such applicant can invoke force majeure (Art. 6 of the Implementation Regulations under the Patent Law), which means that it can apply for a reinstatement of its rights within 2 months.
Fortunately, as the intensity of the epidemic in China has lessened over the last weeks, the CNIPA is resuming its normal activities. This means that the volume of its issued decisions and granted applications is gradually increasing to a normal level.