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Working Time of the State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C. ("SIPO") during the Time Period for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ("APEC") Economic Leaders' Meeting



The State Council of the PRC (China) has announced that the central government agencies located in Beijing City as well as business enterprises, city government agencies as well as other organizations located in Beijing City will have a six-day holidays during the time period for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ("APEC") Economic Leaders' Meeting.   In compliance with the above, on 31 October 2014, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO – Patent Office in China) announced the following:
1.     The SIPO will be closed from 7 November 2014 to 12 November 2014, but it will be open on 15 November 2014 (Saturday).
2.     According to the Chinese Patent Examination Guidelines, for a patent case with an outstanding deadline falling on an "official holiday" or a "weekend working day", the said deadline can be extended to the first working day subsequent to the official holiday or weekend working day.  However, the SIPO announced that, since the APEC holidays are NOT "official holidays", for a patent case with any deadline falling on 7 November 2014 or any day during the period from 10 November to 12 November 2014, such deadline CANNOT be extended .  
3.     During the APEC holidays, patent applicants may still proceed with their relevant filing through electronic filing or post office filing, and payment of fees can be made through bank electronic payment system.  
4.     The SIPO will assign on-duty staff members at their Beijing office to handle relevant paper filing and on-spot payment during the APEC holiday period.
Given the above, we would like to call your attention to the following:
1.     For any patent case with an outstanding deadline falling on 7 November 2014 or any day during the time period between 10 November to 12 November, the said deadline CANNOT be extended;
2.     For any patent case with an outstanding deadline falling on 8 November or 9 November 2014, the said deadline can be extended to November 10 if necessary; and
3.     For any patent case with an outstanding deadline falling on 15 November 2014, the said deadline can be extended to November 17.
Our firm and Lee and Li-Leaven IPR Agency Ltd. in Beijing (our IP alliance firm in China) will try our best to complete all the outstanding responses, petitions and payments with due dates falling on the APEC holidays if we have received or will receive clients' instructions on time.  For patent cases with outstanding deadlines which are non-extendible, for which we do not receive clients' instructions timely, we will take necessary actions in an attempt to keep the cases alive.  With respect to other cases for which we do not receive clients' instructions but extension are still feasible, we will, as needed, apply for extensions for these cases.  We will take the most effective approach to handle all the cases with deadlines during the APEC holidays.
We hope that you find the above information helpful.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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