Expect delays in China for trademark/patent/IP cases due to Wuhan virus
It is likely that regular work will not be resumed until February 9th or even until February 17th at the earliest.

Since we advise clients on legal and business issues in Greater China and elsewhere in Asia, we would like to keep you updated on the rapidly progressing events and how they may impact our services and your business objectives in the region.


As you are aware, the Wuhan-type coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to spread throughout China and, to a lesser extent, the Pacific Rim.  While the virus is not particularly lethal, because the virus emanated from China (specifically an illegal fish market), China’s public image is at issue.  As a result, China is taking very public, extraordinary steps in an attempt to control the spread of the virus.  These measures may or may not be successful in containing the virus, but regardless they are having an impact on business, both public and private, in the country.

This morning we received a dispatch from the Shanghai Municipal Government stating the following:

  1. All kinds of enterprises in the city shall resume work no earlier than 24:00 on February 9, except for enterprises related to the vital national economy and the people's livelihood, which are necessary to ensure the city's operation (water supply, gas supply, power supply, communication and other industries), epidemic prevention and control (medical equipment, medicine, protective product production and sales and other industries), people's life (supermarket, food production and supply and other industries). The employers shall protect the legitimate rights and interests of its employees in accordance with the law.
  2. Schools at all levels in Shanghai (universities, primary and secondary schools, secondary vocational schools, kindergartens, nurseries, etc.) will not open before February 17. The specific opening time will be determined after scientific assessment according to the situation of relevant epidemic prevention and control. Once confirmed, it will be announced to the public in advance.
  3. For those who return to Shanghai in the near future due to work needs, all relevant departments and units shall strengthen quarantine inspection and health protection, and the units shall report relevant information in a timely manner, and strictly implement medical observation, isolation and other measures for those who come from or have been to key epidemic areas, so as to achieve full coverage.
  4. All relevant enterprises and schools shall earnestly implement the requirements of this circular, strengthen responsibility, implement various prevention and control and service guarantee measures in detail, and ensure the stability and order of society.

We anticipate that other large municipalities, such as Beijing and Guangzhou will follow suit with similar measures.  It is possible and perhaps likely that regular work will not be resumed on February 9th, as we have received indications that many companies will not resume work until February 17th at the earliest.  As a result, non-essential government functions may be significantly delayed, such as judicial and administrative proceedings, filings and processing of applications before relevant IP agencies, and business registration processes.  We also anticipate that conducting business transactions may be significantly affected by the restrictions placed on private businesses.  Furthermore, severe travel restrictions are being implemented by both China and other countries, potentially impacting the ability of enterprises to conduct cross-border negotiations and conclude transactions.  We are keeping in close contact with our resources in Mainland China, and we will provide additional information not otherwise available through online outlets as it becomes available to us.

In the meantime, if you have any further questions, please contact Ken or Amy (emails are listed below).

  • For China/Asia patent, litigation, enforcement and licensing questions, please contact Ken Chang at Ken@AdseroIP.com (click here to view Ken’s online bio)
  • For China/Asia trademark, marketing & advertising issues, enforcement questions, please contact Amy Hsiao at Amy@AdseroIP.com (click here to view Amy’s online bio).

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