Coronavirus Digest No. 5 Patents and Other Intellectual Property Rights 

October, 2020 - Pedro Lomba, Manuel Lopes Rocha, Eduardo Nogueira Pinto, Vítor Palmela Fidalgo (Inventa Internatonal))

The world is desperately seeking a vaccine and treatments against COVID-19 and the answer will also be found in intellectual property. For this reason, PLMJ and Inventa International have joined forces toprepare a Digest on these issues that is continuously updated. Readers of this Digest will have complete and up-to-date information on the crossover between the area of intellectual property and the challenges of COVID-19, especially regarding patents and utility models, as well as all the information on the path to obtaining avaccine.

  1. Provisional measures by Portuguese and international courts and public institutes, and new functions to assist inthe field of patents

Typhoon Higos, which passed through Hong Kong on 19 August 2020, caused the courts to close, something that COVID-19 had long threatened to do. Read more here.

The Spanish cour ts a nd administrative bodies finally resumed full operation after the exceptional measures adopted in the context of COVID-19. According to the Spanish law firm Grau & Angulo Abogados, despite the state of emergency, the commercial courts with jurisdiction over intellectual property have tried to maintain as much of their work as possible and have been notifying judgments and resolutions without affecting the measures taken in terms of deadlines. Article available in PDF format here.

The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) has issued an update to the LCIA 2020 Arbitration Rules, which enters into force on 1 October 2020. These changes coincided with the pandemic, with the shift to virtual hearings and electronic communication standing out. Read more here.

The restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic created an immediate need to introduce technology into alternative dispute resolution and online arbitration practices. The following article sets out some “essential practices” to conduct virtual arbitration. Read the article here.

The European Patent Office (EPO) will start using the Zoom video conferencing platform for certain oral opposition proceedings. This technical progress will make it possible to close more cases and thus contribute to greater legal certainty. Read more about this topic here.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced a pilot provisional application programme for COVID-19 patents with a deferred fee. The Director of the USPTO posted a blog post outlining the USPTO’s transition to virtual hearings on 18 September 2020. Readmore here.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) has announced an accelerated procedure for certain applications for COVID-19 trademarks and COVID-19 related qualified medical services. This will protect the brands of products and medicines being developed to fight the pandemic. Read more here.

COVID-19 has led to what is now a widely known modernisation of legal services. The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has shown that it is not falling behind in this modernisation, having held the first two online hearings of intellectual property cases. Read more here.

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