COVID-19

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The Covid Conundrum – CMA Closes its Investigation into Covid Consumer Refund Rights

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today announced it is closing its investigation into the refusal of British Airways and Ryanair to provide refunds to consumers who were unable to travel on previously booked flights as a result of Covid lockdown restrictions due to uncertainty in the underlying law.… Continue Reading

Patents for Humanity: The USPTO Recognizes Innovation Relating to COVID-19

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced the final deadline for submission of applications for its Patents for Humanity COVID-19 award: The submission deadline is 5 p.m. ET, September 30, 2021. Patents for Humanity is the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) awards competition recognizing innovators who use game-changing technology to … Continue Reading

When Compulsory Licenses Apparently Just Won’t Do: The US Backs Waiver of Rights to IP Relating to COVID-19

On Tuesday, May 5, 2021, the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai released an unprecedented statement supporting a “Covid-19 TRIPS Waiver.” Specifically, Ambassador Tai stated “[t]he Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines. We will actively participate in text-based negotiations … Continue Reading

USPTO Establishes COVID-19 Prioritized Appeal Pilot Program

As a companion to the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program and patent-related relief provided by the 2020 CARES Act, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) recently announced a similar Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program for patent applications claiming a process or product requiring FDA approval for COVID–19 use. In general, under 35 U.S.C. § … Continue Reading

US Trademark Modernization Act Provides New Relief to Trademark Owners

False claims of use and fake specimens of use have bedeviled the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and legitimate trademark owners for many years. The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (“TMA”) — part of the COVID-19 relief legislative package signed by President Trump on December 27, 2020 — provides significant relief for trademark owners’ … Continue Reading

Alternative Forum for Copyright Owners Finally Available

Copyright owners seeking damages under $30,000 now have the choice of adjudicating their claims outside of federal court. Passed as part of the December 2020 COVID-19 relief bill, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (“CASE Act”) created an alternative small claims tribunal system that can adjudicate certain copyright infringement claims.… Continue Reading

USPTO to Defer Fees on COVID-19-related Provisional Patent Applications

On September 16, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a new pilot program for COVID-19 related inventions. The new program allows for the deferral of filing fees for provisional patent applications directed to a product or process related to COVID-19, where the product or process requires Food and Drug Administration (FDA) … Continue Reading

USPTO Again Extends Certain Patent and Trademark Deadlines in Response to COVID-19

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has announced further COVID-19 relief by extending time periods to file patent and trademark related documents and providing waivers for the payment of certain fees. The USPTO has twice previously provided extensions of deadlines and fee waivers, as outlined here, here and here. Recognizing the continued hardships … Continue Reading

COVID-19’s Impact on Section 337 Investigations at the U.S. International Trade Commission (Part I)

Like many other Federal Agencies and U.S. District Courts, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) is open for business during the COVID-19 crisis, but on a limited basis. Modifications to the ITC’s business began on March 17, 2020. On May 14, 2020, the ITC’s COVID-19 Action Plan was extended through July 10, 2020. Although limited … Continue Reading

Update: Recent International Activity on IP in Response to COVID-19

As previously blogged, even before potential treatments could yield results in trials, relevant stakeholders quickly pushed their respective (and, in most cases, expected) positions relating to the balance between IP rights and access. Back in April, the World Health Organization announced support for an IP pool proposal relating broadly to COVID-19. Offered by Costa Rica, the proposal … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Disrupts Industry Meetings but Innovation Continues

The last several months have presented new and formidable challenges for virtually every industry in light of COVID-19. Among these challenges are what to do about the various industry meetings and conferences that are used for networking, introducing new ideas, securing supply/distribution contracts, and developing technology standards. These types of events have historically been held … Continue Reading

No Excuses: Remote Depositions Required in the Age of COVID-19

Today’s litigators are advocates and strategists, excelling in the application of rules, the art of negotiation, and the power of oral argument, and they use these tools to achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients. In the age of COVID-19, with stay-at-home orders in effect across much of the nation, litigators may have lost … Continue Reading

USPTO Allows Electronic Filing of Plant Patent Applications Due to COVID-19 Outbreak

Since March 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has announced numerous types of relief in view of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak. As of May 6, relief will be offered to plant patent applicants. Typically, electronic filing of plant patent applications is not permitted. However, in the May 6th announcement, the USPTO indicated … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program

On May 8, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began a Pilot Program to provide prioritized examination of patent applications of a product or process related to COVID-19 diagnosis or treatment. Examples of such patents include: an Investigational New Drug (IND) application, an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE), a New Drug Application (NDA), … Continue Reading

USPTO Extends Patent and Trademark Filing and Fee Deadlines Further in Response to COVID-19

Earlier this month, we provided posts here and here, outlining the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) announcement of the availability of certain deadline waivers to help patent and trademark applicants and owners file papers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The original notice granted a 30-day extension on certain deadlines falling between March 27 and … Continue Reading

Respirator Mask Price Gouging and Trademark Infringement? Not on 3M’s Watch

On April 10, 2020, 3M Co. sued an unauthorized vendor for attempting to sell an NYC agency $45 million worth of 3M-brand respirator masks at 500% of 3M’s list price, or more. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as government agencies scramble to procure personal protective equipment (PPE), unscrupulous parties are capitalizing on the crisis through price … Continue Reading

New Treatments for COVID-19: Recent International Activity Relating to IP and Some Tools the US Already Has in Place

As potential COVID-19 treatments enter human trials, the question of pricing, access, and intellectual property has naturally entered the discussion. With numerous private entities working on a cure, the industry, governments, payers, healthcare groups, and other stakeholders are quickly pushing their respective (and, in most cases, expected) positions relating to the balance between IP rights … Continue Reading
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