Deadlines for your patent related matters in China during Covid-19 Pandemic

Mr. Xu Li & Hui Wang

COVID -19 has unfortunately become a pandemic worldwide during the last few months, which could affect Chinese patent applications filed by foreign applicants outside China. On 27th March, Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has published an announcement regarding the restoration of right for all countries that have been affected by COVID-19.

If applicants miss deadlines for reasons related to the epidemic situation, this could result in the loss of rights. However, the applicants may request the restoration of rights within 2 months from the date of removal of the obstacle and at the latest within 2 years from the date of expiry of the Pandemic period according to CNIPA Announcement No. 350. The deadlines that could be restored include the following: Notification of Rectifications, Office Actions, Certificates or Annual fees etc.

However, it does not mean that all deadlines or terms during this unfortunate period can be restored or extended. Grace Period of Novelty, Priority date, duration of patent rights and limitation of infringement litigation of patent rights cannot be restored or extended. Especially, please note that the deadline for entering China (either via PCT or Paris convention) cannot be extended.