Access to Innovation
JPO Announces Further Remedies for Filings Made Late Due to COVID-19
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INDUSTRY NEWS
The Japan Patent Office (JPO) announced April 24, 2020 further remedies to allow applicants who were prevented from filing necessary IP documents in the JPO on time due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Specifically, it has lightened its heavy requirements for evidence of “due care” when applicants need to file late under the circumstances of COVID-19.
Examples of reasons that the JPO now offers to accept as “beyond the applicant’s control” or “legitimate” for late filings due to COVID-19 are:
-Unable to file because the applicant, agent, etc. contracted COVID-19
-Unable to file because the applicant or agent’s office was closed due to someone’s contraction of COVID-19
-Unable to file because of lockdown or other movement-restraining declarations to restrain COVID-19 by the government of the area where the applicant or agent resides, limiting his/her ability to to work in the office and therefore preventing filing.
The documents to which such a statement may be appended are those listed in our general COVID-19 updates page under Procedures Groups 1 and 2 and Priority claims.
The JPO suggests including the date when the applicant or agent was able to resume regular work and get the filing ready. It also is waiving the requirement for “evidence” of the unavoidable circumstances and due care leading up to the late filing, which is a great loosening of the normal requirements—only for cases where filing was delayed by COVID-19, however. The JPO says it will generally accept the claim on good faith, unless it deems it unlikely that the COVID-19 caused the late filing.
Feel free to contact us if you have a question or concern about a late filing due to COVID-19 or other circumstances.
* The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.
** For questions or consultation, please contact us for more information.
Sources and Reference
Japan Patent Office. “新型コロナウイルス感染症により影響を受けた手続における「その責めに帰することができない理由」及び「正当な理由」による救済について [Relief for those with ‘reason beyond the applicant’s control’ and ‘legitimate reasons’ due to the impact of the novel coronavirus].” April 24, 2020. Accessed April 28, 2020.
________. “Guidelines Concerning Remedial Provisions Applicable after the Expiration of a Time Limit.” English translation of Japanese guide. Amended June 21, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2020. (This source, for terms, not content of COVID-19 remedies)
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