On February 6, CNIPA published the Answers to Matters Concerning the Time Limits for Trademark Business Handling Due to the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (hereinafter referred to as the Answers) on its website, specifying related matters for clients.
The Answers specifies that, for trademark-related businesses like trademark supplement and correction, reply to examination comments, trademark fee payment, provision of proof for use for applications on the same day and reply of negotiation, provision of proof for cancellation of registered trademark for non-use for three consecutive years, application, reply and additional evidence for trademark oppositions, retrial of refused trademark and retrial of invalidation, and trademark-related matters like reply to request for invalidation and additional evidence, if the client fails to do them within the legal or specified time limit due to the epidemic, related time limit shall be suspended since the date when client begins to be hospitalized or isolated after being infected with the novel coronavirus pneumonia or the date when trademark businesses can’t be handled normally in the place where the client is located due to the prevention and control measures, until the date when the infected client is discharged from hospital or the isolation ends, or the date when the local place resumes work and management and control on people ends.
The Answers also specifies that, when handling the above trademark businesses, clients shall also submit the written application for the suspension of the applicable time limit, which is supposed to specify the place where the client is located during the epidemic, barrier to exercise of right and date of elimination, with corresponding evidentiary materials being attached. The evidentiary materials shall include the time limit of infection and treatment, isolation or control, except the public notice on postponement of resuming work issued by local government. To lighten the burden of clients affected by the epidemic, for multiple similar applications for suspension of time limit for the same reason, only one copy of the evidentiary materials needs to be submitted, and it shall be submitted together with one of the cases. And for other cases, only the application number of the case to which the evidentiary materials are enclosed needs to be indicated in the application for suspension of the applicable time limit.
In addition, clients who fail to apply for registration renewal of trademarks within the extension period due to the epidemic, which may cause the loss of trademark right, may apply for extension within two months since the elimination of the barrier to the exercise of the rights, with related evidentiary materials being attached.