The work of IP Offices in times of pandemic was discussed during the videoconference organized by WIPO



The adoption of epidemic containment measures implies new working conditions for IP Offices all around the world. During a WIPO-initiated videoconference, heads of 16 leading Patent Offices discussed intellectual property trends related to mitigating the consequences of the pandemic and controlling the spread of COVID-19. Videoconference chaired by WIPO Director-General Francis Harry was attended by the Heads of IP Offices of Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, India, Canada, China, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, the USA, France, Switzerland, Japan, as well as the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The Heads of Offices exchanged information on the latest trends in their work: extending the deadlines for the provision of services, providing a grace period for payment of certain categories of fees.

“Given the current situation and being guided by the norms of Russian legislation, Rospatent considers it appropriate to extend the period for the provision of services during the high-alert regime. In other words, the applicant will not lose the right to receive public services if the term has expired due to the high-alert regime”, -said Head of Rospatent, Grigory Ivliev.

Besides, many IP Offices are considering inventions aimed at fighting the viral infection and related diseases under the accelerated procedure.

The videoconference participants highlighted the role of intellectual property in promoting innovative approaches to challenge the pandemic. Providing the medical community with quick access to relevant patent information, data exchange between Offices will help to consolidate international efforts to combat COVID-19. The meeting emphasized that patents are the most important source of information for researchers and businesses.

Rospatent informed about the continuous work on the consideration of applications, including international applications under the PCT, Madrid, and Hague systems. Experts have the opportunity to freely work remotely and interact with applicants via electronic communication channels.

The Offices noted the special role of WIPO as a platform for the exchange of ideas and information on measures taken, and also proposed the creation of a global database of inventions related to the fight against COVID-19.

As a result of the videoconference, an agreement was reached on the elaboration of possible amendments to international agreements to ensure comfortable conditions for applicants in the state of emergencies. In the near future, Francis Harry plans to make a general statement in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the field of intellectual property.



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