Below is a summary of US and International updates from recent IPO Daily News™ issues highlighting the effects of COVID-19 in the IP community.
COURTS, CONGRESS RESPOND TO PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE
On March 12 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit announced that it will proceed with arguments scheduled for the April 2020 sitting, with some modifications responsive to public health guidance concerning minimizing the spread of the coronavirus. Some cases will be submitted on the briefs rather than argued. For remaining cases, the court will conduct the argument by phone if counsel for either party is located outside the Washington, D.C. metro area. If counsel for both parties are local, the court currently plans to proceed with the argument in person. The U.S. Supreme Court also announced that it will conduct regular business but is closed to the public until further notice.
Yesterday Congress also closed the U.S. Capitol and House and Senate office buildings to the public and limited access to members of Congress, staff, and credentialed press. Federal agencies such as the USPTO have implemented or are likely to implement teleworking arrangements.
USPTO CLOSES FACILITIES TO PUBLIC IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS
On March 15 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it will close all USPTO offices to the public beginning today until further notice. The offices remain open for “employees, contractors, and those with access badges.” The notice indicates that “[u]nless otherwise notified, USPTO operations will continue without interruption. Patent and trademark application deadlines and other deadlines are not extended.”
USPTO OFFERS RELIEF TO PATENT, TRADEMARK APPLICANTS AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS
On March 16 the USPTO published a notice indicating that the coronavirus outbreak is an “extraordinary situation” for “affected patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners” and waived certain petition fees.” It clarified that it did not “grant waivers or extensions of dates or requirements set by statute.”
$2 TRILLION CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS BILL EXPANDS USPTO DIRECTOR’S AUTHORITY TO EXTEND DEADLINES
On March 25 the U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. A copy of the bill is available on National Public Radio’s website. Section 12004, titled “Temporary Authority of Director of the USPTO During the Covid–19 Emergency,” provides the USPTO Director the authority to “toll, waive, adjust, or modify, any timing deadline established by title 35, United States Code, the Trademark Act, section 18 of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act … or regulations promulgated thereunder.” The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the legislation by the end of the week.
If the Director finds that “the emergency declared by the President pursuant to the National Emergencies Act on March 13, 2020” in response to the coronavirus pandemic “materially affects the functioning of the Patent and Trademark Office,” “prejudices the rights of applicants, registrants, patent owners, or others appearing before the Office,” or prevents users from filing a document or paying a fee timely, the Director will have the authority to determine that “tolling, waiving, adjusting, or modifying a timing deadline” is appropriate and to issue a public notice to that effect. The authority will take effect upon enactment of the legislation and will end 60 days following the end of the emergency. The authority expires two years after the date of enactment.
CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS BILL AUTHORIZES REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS TO EXTEND DEADLINES
On March 25 the U.S. Senate passed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act,” a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. A copy of the bill is available on National Public Radio’s website. Section 19011, titled “National Emergency Relief Authority for the Register of Copyrights,” gives the Register of Copyrights the authority to “on a temporary basis, toll, waive, adjust, or modify any timing provision” upon finding “that a national emergency declared by the President under the National Emergencies Act will generally disrupt or suspend the ordinary functioning of the copyright system.” The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill today.
TRUMP SIGNS CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT
On March 27 U.S. President DONALD TRUMP signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. As the Daily News™ reported last week, the bill enables the USPTO Director to “toll, waive, adjust, or modify” timelines upon finding that the national emergency declared by the President on March 13 affects USPTO operations, prejudges the rights of users of the office, or prevents users from meeting filing deadlines or paying fees. The authority ends 60 days following the end of the emergency. The bill also gives the Register of Copyrights the authority to “toll, waive, adjust, or modify any timing provision” upon finding that the national emergency “will generally disrupt or suspend the ordinary functioning of the copyright system.”
SASSE INTRODUCES BILL TO ADJUST PATENT TERM FOR NEW COVID-19 TREATMENTS
The week of March 30 Sen. BEN SASSE (R-Neb.) introduced the “Facilitating Innovation to Fight Coronavirus Act.” In addition to limiting health care provider liability associated with treating COVID-19 patients, the bill would delay the beginning of the term of any new patent for an invention intended for use in treating the disease until the national emergency declared by President Trump is terminated. It would also add ten years to the patent’s term.
USPTO WAIVES REMAINING ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN SIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS
In a Federal Register notice published on March 30, the USPTO announced that it has waived its original handwritten signature requirements until further notice in light of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The notice states that, “the USPTO is waiving its only regulatory requirements for an original handwritten signature personally signed in permanent dark ink or its equivalent for certain correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and certain payments by credit card. In both instances, the Office will accept copies of handwritten signatures. The USPTO has no other requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures.”
USPTO, U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE EXTEND SOME DEADLINES
On March 31 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it was extending deadlines for filing some patent and trademark related documents and paying certain fees, exercising the authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Director ANDREI IANCU acknowledged in the USPTO announcement the disruption the COVID-19 crisis is having on its stakeholders and said “we are working to provide as much relief as possible … consistent with our ability to maintain the USPTO’s fee-funded operations.”
A Patents notice indicates patent prosecution deadlines falling between March 27 and April 30 that will be extended by 30 days if accompanied by a statement that someone involved in prosecution—practitioner, applicant, patent owner, etc—was “personally affected the COVID-19 outbreak” through circumstances such as office closure, cash flow disruption, or illness. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board will also be extending certain deadlines by 30 days. A Trademarks notice announces similar 30-day extensions of certain prosecution deadlines falling between March 27 and April 30 upon receipt of a statement that the delay was related to the outbreak and indicates that Trademark Trial and Appeal Board extensions will be made upon request.
The U.S. Copyright Office also announced yesterday that the Acting Register will extend registration deadlines and permit additional time to serve or record notices of termination when accompanied by a statement that delay was caused by the COVID-19 crisis. For example, an applicant might be unable to meet deadlines due to a stay-at-home order or business closure that prevent physical access to required documents. The announcement provides detailed information about specific deadlines that can be extended.
USPTO Posts FAQ on Relief for Patent, Trademark Filers Under CARES Act
On April 6 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office posted answers to frequently asked questions about extensions and other relevant information for patent and trademark filers related to relief under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
USPTO FURTHER EXTENDS CERTAIN PATENT, TRADEMARK FILING DEADLINES UNTIL JUNE 1
On April 28 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it was extending until June 1 deadlines for filing some patent and trademark related documents and paying certain fees due between March 27 and May 31, exercising the authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The USPTO had previously extended deadlines falling between March 27 and April 30. Official patent and trademark notices provide detailed information about which deadlines are eligible for extensions in the event of delays “due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
USPTO PUBLISHES NEW FORM FOR PATENT FILERS REQUESTING COVID-RELATED RELIEF
The week of May 5 the USPTO published a new form for patent filers requesting extensions for delay caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The form should be submitted with the delayed filing or payment and requires the filer sign a statement that “A practitioner, applicant, patent owner, petitioner, third-party requester, inventor, or other person associated with the filing or fee was personally affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including, without limitation, through office closures, cash flow interruptions, inaccessibility of files or other materials, travel delays, personal or family illness, or similar circumstances, such that the outbreak materially interfered with timely filing or payment.”
USPTO LAUNCHES PATENTS 4 PARTNERSHIPS IP MARKETPLACE
On May 4 the USPTO launched “Patents 4 Partnerships,” a database of patents and published patent applications “related to the COVID-19 pandemic” that have been identified as available for licensing by their federal agency, university, and corporate owners. The patents and applications in the database focus on “technologies related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19, including, for example, personal protective equipment, disinfectants, ventilators, testing equipment and components thereof.”
In a press release, the USPTO discusses its goal to help in the response to the public health crisis by bringing together those who own technologies they want to make available for licensing and those who are interested in commercializing those technologies. IPO members are invited to submit additional relevant technologies for inclusion in the database and to send corrections or comments.
SENATORS URGE ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS TO CRACK DOWN ON SALE OF COUNTERFEIT PPE
On May 5 Senators THOM TILLIS (R-N.C.), JOHN CORNYN (R-Texas), and MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-Tenn.) sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) supporting a crackdown on the sale of counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly “by entities controlled by the Chinese government and Chinese-based entities.” The letter notes that “DHS reported seizing a shipment of counterfeit 3M respirators shipped from China, and several states have reported receiving substandard respirators from the Chinese.” The Senators note that these types of counterfeit products “pose a serious and immediate threat to American healthcare workers.”
FEDERAL CIRCUIT SUSPENDS IN-PERSON ORAL ARGUMENTS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
On May 18 the Federal Circuit announced the suspension of in-person oral arguments until further notice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court’s decision is intended to provide predictability. The June oral argument schedule has been announced, and the Court explains that oral arguments following the June session will be held by phone “unless counsel is notified by separate order that oral argument is unnecessary and that a case will be submitted on the briefs without arguments.”
USPTO EXTENDS RELIEF UNDER CARES ACT
On May 27 the USPTO announced how it will handle waivers and extensions of deadlines for filing certain patent and trademark related documents and paying certain fees, exercising the authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), upon the May 31 expiration of relief made available in previous notices. An updated Patents notice indicates that, for small and micro entities, filings that would have been deemed timely filed, if filed by June 1, 2020 will now be deemed timely filed if filed by July 1, 2020. For large entities, relief will be made available upon request after May 31 on a case-by-case basis for delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. An updated Trademarks notice indicates that trademark related relief will be available on a case-by-case basis for certain filings and fees for delays caused by the outbreak.
USPTO REPORTS TO JUDICIARY COMMITTEE LEADERS ABOUT USPTO OPERATIONS DURING PANDEMIC
On June 10 USPTO Director ANDREI IANCU sent a letter reporting to House Judiciary Committee Chairman JERROLD NADLER (D-N.Y.) and Ranking Member JIM JORDAN (R-Ohio), House IP Subcommittee Chairman HANK JOHNSON (D-Ga.) and Ranking Member MARTHA ROBY (R-Ala.), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-S.C.) and Ranking Member DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-Calif.), and Senate IP Subcommittee Chairman THOM TILLIS (R-N.C.) and Ranking Member CHRIS COONS (D-Del.) about the status of UPSTO operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter addresses the transition to full-time telework, the status of fee collections, and budget cuts the USPTO has made in response to the economic downturn.
Iancu indicates that trademark fee collections are 9.2% lower than expected for 2020 and that he expects 2021 trademark revenues to be lower than previous projections. The trademark operating reserve is supplementing fee collections, which could fund trademark operations for 13 weeks in the absence of fee collections. However, the fund is dependent on fee collections and will be more rapidly depleted as it is used to supplement fee revenues.
The impact of economic downturns on patent fee collections tends to be somewhat delayed. Iancu indicates that the patent operating reserve will likely be sufficient to supplement any loss of revenue in 2020 but that recent decreases in filing will likely lead to revising revenue projections downward for 2021 and 2022. The agency is “conducting multiple revenue assessments and contingency plans to compensate for anticipated lower revenues.”
The USPTO has undertaken numerous cost-cutting measures and is adjusting plans for 2021 in response to the expected decrease in revenue. However, the letter notes that should supplemental funding become necessary due to the decrease in revenue and depletion of operating reserves, “Congress could make available user fees and surcharges previously collected by the USPTO (between 1990 and 2011)” that the USPTO was not authorized to spend.
USPTO EXTENDS DEADLINE TO RESTORE RIGHT OF PRIORITY OR BENEFIT OF PRIOR FILED PATENT APPLICATION FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY COVID-19
On June 11 the USPTO announced that it was exercising its authority under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to extend the deadline for petitioning for certain rights of priority or benefit and waiving the associated petition fee. Applicants whose 12-month deadline to claim priority occurred between March 27 and July 30 will receive extensions until July 31 or the expiration of the two-month grace period, whichever occurs later. The notice indicates that the USPTO will waive the fee for applicants who file a statement indicating that the failure to file timely was due to COVID-19.
USPTO ADDS COVID-19 PRIORITIZED TRADEMARK EXAMINATION TO COVID-19 PROGRAMS
On June 15 the USPTO announced a prioritized examination program for applications for trademark and service marks used to identify qualifying COVID-19 medical products and services. Under the program, the USPTO will accept petitions to advance the initial examination of applications that cover 1) a product that is subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19 or 2) a medical or medical research service for the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19. Additionally, the USPTO will waive the fee for such petitions.
The USPTO recently announced a similar COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program for accelerating the evaluation of patent applications directed to COVID-19 related technologies. Under this pilot program, the USPTO will accept requests for prioritized examination of up to 500 applications for patents on “a product or process related to COVID-19.”
More information about these programs, along with other resources including the USPTO’s Patents 4 Partnerships marketplace, is available in the USPTO’s COVID-19 Response Resource Center.
INFORMATION ABOUT IP OFFICE EXTENSIONS IN THE U.S.
As the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic progresses, the USPTO and U.S. Copyright Office are providing extensions of time will be allowed to file certain documents and to pay certain fees to help applicants address issues created by this challenging environment.
Cantor Colburn LLP, an IPO member, has been tracking how U.S. offices are affected by COVID-19 and how it will affect their clients. The USPTO extensions are effective for patent and trademark filings and payments due on or after March 27, 2020 through April 30, 2020. Filers taking advantage of the extension must include a statement that their delay is due to COVID-19. The Copyright Office extensions are effective as against filings that would have been or are due for a period of 60 days on or after March 13, 2020, but are limited in scope. Thanks to ANDREW LEVITT, JEFF WATERS and JESSICA LISTER (Cantor Colburn LLP) for submitting this item.
WORLD IP DAY 2020 TO BE A VIRTUAL CAMPAIGN
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has announced that, in light of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s World IP Day will be a virtual campaign. The official date of World IP Day remains April 26, 2020 and the theme is “Innovate for a Green Future.” WIPO indicated that it “will launch in early April a World IP Day Pledge Map where…stakeholders can declare their commitment to act in favor of a green future” and noted that “[t]his year’s World IP Day campaign is an excellent opportunity to showcase the inspiring achievements of inventors, innovative companies and policymakers from your own country or region in carving a green future.” More information on how you can participate in promoting World IP Day is available on the World IP Day web page.
EUIPO EXTENDS DEADLINES
EUIPO has extended all deadlines – statutory or set by the Office – until May 1, 2020. Because May 1st is a public holiday, all EUIPO deadlines will not end before May 4, 2020. Click here for the decision of the EUIPO Executive Director. Thanks to International Trademark Law & Practice Committee Vice Chair FRANCES JAGLA (Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC) for submitting this item on behalf of the committee.
Do you have information about other effects of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak on the IP system? IPO welcomes proposed news items for the Daily News™ about this issue—send suggestions to email@example.com.
CANADA’S NEW EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACT SETS OUT BROAD COMPULSORY LICENSING PROVISIONS
Canada has amended its Patent Act, providing for a new compulsory licensing regime. Under this new regime, the Minister of Health can apply to the Commissioner of Patents for authorization for the government, and any person specified in the application, to make, construct, use, and sell a patented invention to the extent necessary to respond to the public health emergency described in the application. These actions are specifically deemed not to be an infringement of the patent. In the application, confirmation from the Chief Public Health Officer that there is a public health emergency that is a matter of national concern is required.
The Commissioner is mandated to grant such an application, and it can last a maximum of one year. No such compulsory license can be granted after September 30, 2020. Furthermore, the Commissioner determines the licensing fee. It is described as “adequate remuneration,” taking into account the economic value of the authorization and the extent to which the patented invention is made, used, constructed or sold. Thanks to BEVERLEY MOORE (Borden Ladner Gervais, LLP) for submitting this item on behalf of the Canadian Practice Committee. (She also serves as a Vice Chair of the Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Issues Committee). (March 25, 2020)
WIPO ANNOUNCES POSTPONEMENT OF CERTAIN MEETINGS
The week of March 30 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is postponing the following meetings that were scheduled to occur in May: the WIPO Conversation on Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence (2nd Session), the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (25th session), and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Working Group (13th session). It also said that consultations are ongoing regarding the Sessions of the General Assembly and the Assemblies of the Paris and Berne Unions, scheduled for May 7th and 8th, to appoint the Director General of WIPO. As previously reported, WIPO’s Coordination Committee nominated DAREN TANG, who is currently the Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, to be the next Director General.
WIPO SUSPENDS TRANSMISSION OF PAPER DOCUMENTS DURING CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 CRISIS
On March 30 WIPO announced that “[d]ue to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the operations of the International Bureau and of postal systems worldwide, the International Bureau, also in its function as receiving Office, has suspended the sending of PCT documents (e.g. PCT Forms, letters) on paper.” The International Bureau will transmit documents on email only until further notice. PCT users are encouraged to provide their email addresses to the International Bureau. Similar measures are being enacted in the Madrid and Hague systems.
EPO MAKES VIDEOCONFERENCING DEFAULT MEANS FOR EXAMINATION HEARINGS
In a decision dated April 1, 2020, the President of the EPO established videoconferencing as the default means for hearings in examination proceedings before the EPO. Videoconferencing has been an option for examination hearings for years but has seldom been used. While the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have been the catalyst for this change, it appears that the decision will remain effective indefinitely.
Separately, the EPO has been conducting videoconference hearings also in opposition proceedings, subject to the parties’ approval. It has begun consultations on the topic. Thanks to European Practice Committee Co-Chair GAUTIER ENGISCH (Procter & Gamble Co.) for submitting this item on behalf of the committee.
WIPO BRIEFING TO BE WEBCAST
The World Intellectual Property (WIPO) has announced that a briefing releasing its results for 2019 and addressing some of its current major plans and challenges will be webcast this year. Topics for the briefing will include WIPO’s management of the COVID-19 crisis and the impact of the crisis on its services and programs. The webcast will occur on April 7, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Central European Standard Time. It will be available for viewing at that time, and subsequently, on the WIPO website.
WIPO MEETINGS POSTPONED UNTIL AFTER APRIL
On April 8 the World Intellectual Property Organization announced that it is postponing all meetings of its principal committees and bodies, as well as those of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, that were scheduled to take place before the end of April. The notice making the announcement cites “recent developments concerning the spread of COVID-19” and “the importance of taking all reasonable mitigating measures to combat the further spread of the virus.”
FURTHER EPO EXTENSIONS ANNOUNCED
The EPO announced on Friday, May 1, that certain deadlines are being further extended until Tuesday, June 2, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, bringing the total emergency extension to over 11 weeks. The increasing length of the extension means that more EPO deadlines will now become due on a single day once normal service is resumed. This latest extension was announced one working day before the previous deadline was due to expire. Further extensions might be announced in due course.
Importantly, not all EPO deadlines are extended by these measures, including the deadline for filing a divisional application prior to grant of a parent application, the 12-month deadline for claiming priority, or the deadline under Rule 116 EPC for filing pre-hearing submissions. Applicants are advised to check with their representatives if they are planning to rely on this extension. Thanks to European Practice Committee Co-Vice Chair MATTHEW GEORGIOU (Carpmaels & Ransford LLP) for submitting this item on behalf of the committee.
WIPO ANNOUNCES MEETINGS TO BE POSTPONED OR HELD REMOTELY UNTIL SEPTEMBER
As reported, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is postponing certain meetings that were scheduled to occur in May of this year. The Member States subsequently agreed to conduct the Sessions of the General Assembly and the Assemblies of the Paris and Berne Unions to appoint the Director General on May 7th and 8th in the form of a written procedure.
Yesterday, WIPO announced that all meetings of the principal committees and bodies of WIPO Member States are postponed until September, except that meetings will be held remotely for “those bodies either charged with consideration of matters on which decisions must be reached prior to the Assemblies, or the deliberation of which is necessary to advance the work program of the Organization.” These meetings will occur for up to two hours in the early afternoon (Geneva time), will involve only plenary sessions, and will have proposed meeting agendas “that reflect both the truncated format as a matter of timing, and the issues most conducive to discussion in such a format as a matter of substance.”
The meetings that are scheduled to occur remotely are: the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (June 22 to 26, 2020); WIPO Conversation on Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence (July 7 to 9, 2020); Committee on WIPO Standards (July 13 to 17, 2020); Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (July 27 to 31, 2020); Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (August 31 to September 4, 2020); Program and Budget Committee (September 8 to 11, 2020); and the Global Digital Content Market Re-visited (September 16 to 18, 2020).
JPO LAUNCHES ENGLISH WEBSITE DESCRIBING ITS COVID-19 RELIEF MEASURES
The Japan Patent Office (JPO) has launched an English website explaining the details of measures it is taking to help applicants address issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The website explains that, “when it comes to relief measures for procedures negatively affected by the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the JPO takes the following flexible approaches until further notice (e.g. applicants are not required to submit document evidence supporting their reasons).”
CANADIAN TRADEMARK PROCEEDINGS IMPACTED BY COVID-19
Since March 16, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has operated under ‘designated days,’ which automatically extends deadlines, including deadlines pertaining to trademark matters, as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. Generally speaking, all deadlines for trademark matters (including the deadline to oppose) that fell on or after March 16, 2020, were extended until the expiry of designated days, currently set at June 15, 2020.
For a brief time in April, although the period during which one can oppose an application was extended, due to an apparent computer glitch, a number of Registration Fee Notices inadvertently issued. CIPO subsequently took steps to prevent the acceptance of payment of the registration fees for the applications in question. CIPO is expected to re-issue Registration Fee Notices once the extended opposition period expires. For a handful of applications where premature Registration Fee Notices issued and were paid before this technical block was put in place, certificates of registration have issued. CIPO will be contacting the owners of these registrations or their agents to explain the issue and why CIPO must withdraw the “Registered” status of the case until the expiry of the extended trademark opposition period.
Thanks to International Trademark Law & Practice Committee Vice Chair FRANCES JAGLA (Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC) for submitting this item on behalf of the committee.
INFORMATION ABOUT IP OFFICE EXTENSIONS AROUND THE WORLD
As the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic progresses, intellectual property offices around the world are taking action to help applicants address issues created by this challenging environment. In several countries, deadlines relating to IP rights are suspended until further notice. However, some IP offices are taking a more nuanced approach.
The suspension of face-to-face meetings is common. Some IP offices are now offering generous extensions to applicants where necessary. Others have confirmed that future restoration requests will be viewed leniently when coronavirus/COVID-19 has caused deadlines to pass without action. Given the fluidity of the situation around the world, the actions taken by each IP office are changing rapidly and should be reviewed regularly. Murgitroyd, an IPO member, has been tracking how IP offices around the world are affected by COVID-19. Thanks to THOMAS GIBB (Murgitroyd) for submitting this item.
IPO RECOGNIZES 3M FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. 3M ramped up to maximum production of N95 respirators, doubling its global output to a rate of 1.1 billion per year, or 100 million per month. This includes 35 million per month in the United States. The company is also maximizing production of a wide range of other products used in the COVID-19 response including hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and filtration solutions as the pharmaceutical industry works to find a vaccine to fight the virus.
In addition to their solo efforts, 3M is partnering with Ford Motor Co. to increase production of powered air purifying respirators—a waist-mounted, battery-powered blower that sends filtered air into a hood that helps provide respiratory protection for workers, including those in healthcare. For more information about 3M’s efforts, visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES AMGEN FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Amgen is working with biotechnology companies, academic institutions, the U.S. government, and other government research entities to identify effective treatments for COVID-19. Amgen is utilizing its expertise in immunology and novel antibody therapy development to partner with Adaptive Biotechnologies to discover and develop human neutralizing antibodies to potentially prevent or treat COVID-19. Amgen is also investigating the use of inflammatory disease treatment, Otezla®, as a potential immunomodulatory treatment in adult patients with COVID-19. Otezla could possibly modulate the production of inflammatory cytokines and other mediators.
Amgen has also joined Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV), a collaboration of the National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for the NIH, global health and regulatory agencies, and leading biotech companies and renowned academic researchers. The goal of this collaboration is to create a STRATEGY in which they can prioritize the best vaccine and drug candidates, streamline clinical trials and regulatory processes, and share knowledge and tools to quickly respond to COVID-19 crisis and help prepare for future pandemics.
Amgen and the Amgen Foundation have made an initial commitment of up to $12.5 million in COVID-19 relief funds to support emergency response efforts. this donation will be distributed to Direct Relief, International Medical Corps, and local organizations supporting low income families and seniors. Amgen is also sponsoring free online learning programs – Khan Academy and LabXchange – which provide science education to students around the world. For more information about Amgen’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES APPLE FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Apple, in collaboration with the CDC, White House Coronavirus Task Force, and FEMA, created a COVID-19 screening app and website that allows users to answer a series of questions about symptoms and exposure to provide guidance concerning next steps. This screening tool allows users to monitor their symptoms to let them know when they should contact healthcare providers. In partnership with Google, Apple is also working to enable the use of Bluetooth technology, with user privacy and security central to the design, to assist in contact tracing, that public health officials have deemed important in containing the spread of the virus. Apple also helped Stanford Medicine build a new app for first responders to help screen their symptoms and schedule a testing appointment if needed.
Apple has committed $15 million worldwide and are matching employee donations two-to-one to support COVID-19 response. Apple has also brought together teams across their company and suppliers to design and produce face shields and has donated over 20 million face masks for medical professionals on the front lines around the world, shipping 1 million face masks per week to areas hit hardest by the pandemic. For more information about Apple’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES APPLIED MATERIALS FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Building on its long history of community involvement, Applied Materials, Inc. and its Foundation are committed to helping those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Around the world, Applied is addressing immediate humanitarian needs and working with key strategic partners to combat the long-term effects on local communities and the nonprofit sector
To meet urgent health needs, Applied is delivering face masks and blood analysis systems to frontline medical personnel in the U.S., Europe and China. Cases of individual hand sanitizers are being shipped to homeless shelters and programs serving frail, isolated seniors. A grant to Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders focuses on relief efforts in Europe and around the globe. Applied has also increased its support to food banks at sites across the U.S., and in Korea, Applied is helping to ensure disadvantaged children and their families gain access to nutritious meals and personal protective equipment.
Applied employees are stepping forward donating time, talent and financial resources. At its manufacturing sites in Austin, Texas, Kalispell, Montana and Singapore, Applied’s engineers are making personal protective equipment and using 3D printers to create face shields and touchless door handles for use in their local communities. The company’s design teams in India are making open source designs for low-cost medical gear available to the local community. Applied has increased matching funds available to its employees, helping them contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts in areas where they see the biggest need and continue supporting their favorite charities.
IPO RECOGNIZES BASF FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Around the world, BASF and BASF employees are helping neighboring communities overcome challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. In North America, BASF is supporting local community organizations with donations of disinfectants, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and suits, and other needed supplies. Additionally, the company is partnering and donating money to Feeding America and their associated food banks across the U.S. to provide nourishing food to those in need.
In addition to local donations, BASF is manufacturing hand sanitizer at its sites in Washington, New Jersey and Wyandotte, Michigan and donating product to hospitals, and healthcare and government agencies. The production of these sanitizing products will help meet the increased demands needed to safely combat the COVID-19 pandemic. For more details about BASF’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Bristol-Myers Squibb is collaborating with researchers, the biotech community, and life sciences industry on ways they can accelerate therapies for COVID-19. BMS is evaluating certain medicines in their portfolio that could be included in clinical trials with a focus on agents that may have an impact on the inflammatory immune response associated with the virus, and has identified approximately 1,000 compounds in their discovery library that they are making available to collaborators for screening for potential treatments for COVID-19.
In addition to their work in possible treatments, BMS expanded its existing patient support programs to help eligible unemployed patients in the U.S. who have lost their health insurance due to the pandemic. The program offers access to BMS medicines for free including their most widely prescribed products and those prescribed via telehealth services. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has also provided financial support to human service organizations and patient support groups that are providing food services, critical education, and aid to vulnerable populations in communities around the U.S. and internationally. For more information about BMS’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES CARGILL FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Cargill is providing $35 million in support during the pandemic through global partnerships, food relief efforts, agriculture industry support, and PPE and supplies for medical workers and facilities around the globe. Cargill and the Cargill Foundation are providing food to affected communities around the globe including pledging 16 million meals for relief efforts in India, providing food for over 1,000 families in Ghana, helping 68 local organizations in Brazil purchase food baskets to help feed 17,000 people, providing 240,000 food packages for vulnerable families in Colombia, amongst many other food relief efforts. In addition, Cargill is providing 3 million pounds of food to food shelves and hunger relief efforts in local communities where their employees live and work.
Cargill is dedicated to providing support to the agricultural industry by reinforcing their partnership with farmers, ranchers, and agricultural communities around the world. Cargill is supporting the American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund, which will provide producers in the United States with grants up to $1,000 each to help them navigate the current market disruptions. They are making sure that their farmers in Indonesia stay safe by supporting efforts to disinfect neighboring communities and redirecting school meals to be delivered to homes. Cargill is also proving food support to seaweed farmers in Madagascar and rural communities in the U.S., and distributing hand washing soaps and hand towels to cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Cargill and the Cargill Foundation has donated personal protective equipment and medical supplies. In China, Cargill is working with community organizations to source and distribute medical supplies for five hospitals in Hubei province. Throughout Europe and parts of Latin America, they are providing meals, PPE, hygiene kits, and disinfecting alcohol to those working on the frontlines of the pandemic. Cargill also donated 2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines to facilities testing COVID-19 patient samples in Chile. For more information about Cargill’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES CATERPILLAR FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Caterpillar is supporting nonprofit organizations who are working to help prevent, detect and respond to the pandemic by providing resources to the medical frontlines, addressing food insecurity, and enabling online STEM and coding education for youth impacted by school closures. Through the Caterpillar Foundation, the company has committed $10 million to directly support global COVID-19 response activities and help organizations impacted by donating to the United Nations Foundation and WHO Solidarity Response Fund, Global Foodbanking Network Global Fund, Feeding America Response Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and local charities in an effort to create the biggest impact in their communities.
The Caterpillar Foundation also contributed $250,000 to the China Women’s Development Foundation (CWDF) to provide healthcare facilities with critical medical protective materials to support medical staff and patients. In addition, the Foundation also expanded its existing U.S. Matching Gifts Program for a limited time to provide a 2:1 match on employee donations to foodbanks, hospitals, and educational and international development organizations, meeting their overall program cap of $2.5 million. For more information about Caterpillar’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES DELL TECHNOLOGIES FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Dell Technologies is helping to support its communities, healthcare providers, and organizations fight COVID-19 through Dell Technologies solutions. For instance, Dell Technologies has provided the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) with access to Dell Technologies’ Zenith Supercomputer. TGen is conducting population-level sequencing for rapid genomic analysis, which provides public health organizations the ability to rapidly identify which strains of COVID-19 are circulating more than others, what might be causing outbreaks, and how fast the genome is mutating and changing. Dell Technologies is also supporting the i2b2 tranSMART Foundation’s open source platforms to help quickly create a federation of translational research centers to conduct large-scale population monitoring of COVID-19 patients, with the hope of creating a global network to identify and collect information that can be used to study COVID-19.
In addition to Dell Technologies providing organizations with much needed technological support in efforts to fight the virus, Dell Technologies is also providing communities around the world with medical and technological donations. In China, Dell provided funds for PPE for local hospitals and donated IT infrastructure to the Hubei Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This donation will help upgrade the IT which enables the Hubei CDC to respond to the epidemic situation more effectively. In Brazil, Dell Technologies made laptop donations to the largest public health hospital, SP Hospital das Clínicas, which will provide a mobile solution to allow frontline medical workers to collaborate in real time to meet anticipated demand for those infected with COVID-19.
Dell Technologies is also making monetary donations to support their local communities and those affected by the pandemic. Dell Technologies made a donation to the All Together ATX fund, which will support the Greater Austin community during the COVID-19 pandemic with needs including food insecurity, basic and medical needs, employment and childcare. The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) dedicated $100 million to initiatives and projects with the priorities of eradicating the virus and providing relief for communities MSDF serves. Additionally, Dell Technologies will match every team member donation up to $10,000 per employee per year for contributions. For more information about Dell Technologies’ COVID-19 response efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES DOW FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Dow has committed a total of $3 million to help in COVID-19 relief efforts; with $2 million to support the immediate impacts caused by COVID-19 with donations to the COVID-19 Solidarity Fund, Direct Relief, and local and regional nonprofits in Dow communities; and $1 million to support their community in the recovery stage of this crisis.
In addition to monetary contributions, Dow has adjusted five of its manufacturing plants to begin producing hand sanitizer. Dow plants in Belgium, Brazil, Germany, and Michigan and West Virginia in the U.S. possess the necessary raw materials, production, and packaging capabilities to produce hand sanitizer, the majority of which will be donated to health systems and government entities, and some allocated to Dow production sites. For more information about Dow’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES ELI LILLY & CO. FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Eli Lilly & Co. partnered with Indiana State Department of Health, with support from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to accelerate testing in Indiana for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and is providing drive-through testing for health care providers, first responders, essential workers, and higher-risk individuals.
Lilly is also working to develop treatments for Coronavirus/COVID-19. Lilly has an agreement with AbCellera Biologics to co-develop antibodies for the potential treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Lilly is also working with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to study baricitinib as an arm in NIAID’s Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial. Lilly also advanced LY3127804, an investigational selective monoclonal antibody against Angiopoietin 2 (Ang2), to Phase 2 testing in pneumonia patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who are at a higher risk of progressing to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Lilly joined a consortium of 17 life science companies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments. For more information about Lilly’s efforts, visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES EVOQUA WATER TECHNOLOGIES FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Evoqua Water Technologies provides reliable high purity water for efficient surgical instrument processing to hundreds of hospitals across the U.S., including St. Luke’s Hospital, which has one of the busiest emergency departments in Massachusetts. Poor water quality can lead to inefficient cleaning and sterilization, causing instruments to be rejected and rewashed. Evoqua’s 24/7 remote monitoring and proactive service ensures water quality and quickly addresses any issues, keeping hospitals operating efficiently.
Evoqua also has partnerships with the largest leading health care diagnostics companies in the U.S., including the primary companies providing testing for COVID-19 as well as many of the country’s vaccine and reagent producers, including the top four manufacturers who represent approximately 85% of the market. Evoqua provides continuous remote monitoring and proactive service to ensure that water systems meet strict water quality standards and operate efficiently. For more information about Evoqua’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES FORD FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields per week and utilize its in-house 3D printing capability to produce urgently needed disposable respirators for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus.
In addition, Ford has joined forces with 3M to increase the manufacturing capacity of their powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) designs and work jointly to develop a new design leveraging parts from both companies to meet the increasing demand for first responders and health care workers. Ford is also working with GE Healthcare to expand production of ventilators to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing caused by COVID-19. Ford is providing its manufacturing capabilities to quickly scale production, and GE Healthcare is providing its clinical expertise and will license the ventilator design from Airon Corp. For more information about Ford’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES GENENTECH FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, is investigating a potential treatment for COVID-19 and supporting communities through emergency response grants and funds for longer-term recovery efforts to mitigate ongoing challenges posed by the breadth and depth of the pandemic.
Genentech is conducting three Phase III clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Actemra® (tocilizumab) in COVID-19. One, COVACTA, is in collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Actemra plus standard of care in hospitalized adult patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Another, EMPACTA, is focused on recruiting patients at trial sites known to provide critical care to underserved and minority populations that often do not have access to clinical trials. Finally, REMDACTA, is in partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc. to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Actemra combined with Gilead’s investigational antiviral remdesivir, versus placebo plus remdesivir in hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Additionally, Genentech is providing 10,000 vials of Actemra to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile for potential future use at the direction of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
In addition to vital scientific advancement, Genentech and the Genentech Foundation have announced charitable commitments of $42 million to help address the devastating societal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are working closely with government organizations, patient and community groups, health systems and schools to identify the areas of greatest need, build resiliency and address emerging equity gaps. To learn more about Genentech’s giving strategy, please visit their website.
Additionally, Roche has received FDA Emergency Use Authorization for the cobas® SARS-CoV-2 Test to detect the novel virus that causes COVID-19 disease and the Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test to help determine if a patient has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and if the patient has developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. With extensive global manufacturing capabilities, Roche will be able to deliver millions of both tests each month.
IPO RECOGNIZES GENERAL ELECTRIC FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. To address the crisis, General Electric has increased their manufacturing capacity and output of medical equipment including CTs, ultrasound devices, mobile X-ray systems, patient monitors and ventilators which are all important in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients. In addition to increased production of medical equipment, GE has issued clinician instructions for using GE Healthcare’s anesthesia machines for patient ventilation, in line with FDA guidance. There are more than 100,000 anesthesia machines in hospitals worldwide and this guidance could help give medical professionals an immediate increase in ventilator options.
GE Healthcare is also working with Ford to expand production of ventilators to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing caused by COVID-19. Through this collaboration, Ford will provide its technical and production expertise with the goal of manufacturing a simplified design of GE Healthcare’s existing ventilator. For more information about GE’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES GOOGLE FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Google partnered with WHO, CDC, and national health ministries to surface official information on how to prevent COVID-19 transmission upon Search. They have also released their COVID-19 Community Mobility reports that aggregate data on movement trends around grocery stores, pharmacies, and other public spaces to provide information to help healthcare officials implement and revise social distancing measures. Google is also collaborating with Apple to enable the use of Bluetooth technology, with user privacy and security central to the design, to assist in contact tracing, which public health officials have deemed important in containing the spread of the virus.
In addition to their data and technology driven initiatives, Google’s parent company Alphabet has pledged $800 million in funds towards producing medical supplies. This includes working with Magid Glove and Safety to produce between 2 and 3 million face masks. This donation will also go toward providing ad credits to small and medium business as well as the WHO and many government agencies. For more information about Google’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES IBM FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. As the world confronts the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, IBM is providing support to clients, government agencies and partners for their mission-critical operations. In recent weeks, IBM has made significant technological resources and tools available including supercomputing power, virus tracking, and an AI assistant to answer citizens’ questions.
- IBM, in collaboration with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Energy and others, is helping launch the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, which will bring forth unprecedented computing power to allow researchers to run very large numbers of calculations in epidemiology, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling.
- IBM is making it easier for people around the world to stay up to date on COVID-19 in their vicinity, as demand for the latest news and statistics surges. The company has rolled out two sources of COVID-19 information: an Incidents Map on IBM’s The Weather Channel app and weather.com, and an interactive dashboard on weather.com for deeper analysis. Both run on the IBM Cloud and are available free of charge.
- IBM is helping government agencies, healthcare organizations, and academic institutions throughout the world use AI to put critical data and information into the hands of their citizens with IBM Watson Assistant for Citizens which understands and responds to common questions about COVID-19.
- IBM, the leading U.S. patent recipient for each of the last 27 years, is granting free access to its patent portfolio to those developing technologies to help diagnose, prevent, contain or treat coronaviruses, including the one that causes COVID-19. IBM’s Open COVID-19 pledge covers thousands of IBM AI patents, including Watson technology patents, as well as dozens of active U.S. patents in the general area of biological viruses.
IPO RECOGNIZES JOHNSON & JOHNSON FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Johnson & Johnson is working with industry partners, governments and health authorities with the goal to help end the COVID-19 pandemic through the development of a possible vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, screening compounds to determine if any could help treat those who have the virus, applying its manufacturing expertise and mobilizing to provide equipment, training, products and financial donations to support communities and health care workers on the front line.
The company is seeking to further expedite its investigational coronavirus vaccine program through an expanded collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Johnson & Johnson has committed to bringing a safe and effective vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use. It has partnered with Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. and Catalant Inc., to support the manufacturing of the lead investigational vaccine candidate. This is the first in a series of prospective global collaborations to accelerate their abilities to manufacture a selected lead candidate vaccine with the goal of providing global supply of more than one billion doses of a vaccine.
Separately, BARDA and Johnson & Johnson have provided additional funding that will enable expansion of their ongoing work to screen antiviral molecules with the aim to accelerate the development of potential COVID-19 treatments and provide immediate relief for people around the world. For more information about Johnson & Johnson’s efforts, please visit jnj.com/coronavirus.
IPO RECOGNIZES MEDTRONIC FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Medtronic has made solid progress in the growth of its ventilator production and is collaborating with technology partners and governments to drive new ventilator innovation and production. Today, Medtronic ships more than 400 ventilators per week to customers in the highest risk, highest need locations in the world. To aid specifically in the fight against COVID-19, Medtronic is prioritizing PB980 and PB560 production and is targeting to manufacture more than 1,000 ventilators per week by the end of June, which represents an approximate five-fold increase in production versus pre-pandemic levels.
In March, Medtronic started to publicly share the design specifications for the PB560 to enable participants across the globe to evaluate options for rapid ventilator manufacturing at scale to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19. Since launch, there have been more than 100,000 registrations for the design specifications. For more information about Medtronic’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES MERCK & CO. FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Merck & Co. is performing a broad range of actions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to shortages of personal protection equipment for healthcare workers and first responders, Merck donated half a million masks in New York City and 300,000 masks in New Jersey. Merck has committed $3 million and direct investment to their global Merck for Mothers initiative. This initiative helps health systems meet the needs of pregnant women before, during, and following delivery while tackling COVID-19.
Merck is also collaborating with other companies and organizations to help in the fight against the virus. Merck, alongside biopharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Eli Lilly, is supporting medical service volunteer programs that allow licensed medical professionals to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining their base pay. Merck is also contributing their expertise to a consortium of life-sciences companies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that is working to accelerate the development, manufacture, and delivery of vaccines. For more information about Merck’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES MICRON TECHNOLOGY FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are offering public health relief and support to their communities and the world during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Micron Technology pledged $35 million to help those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 worldwide. The Micron Foundation $10 million relief fund was established to provide much-needed resources for food banks, health facilities, school meal programs and online learning programs in communities where Micron has a presence. Additionally, as part of its Micron Gives charitable program, the company implemented a two-to-one company match to double the influence of team member contributions.
The Micron Foundation’s relief fund is providing support to countries around the world. For example, in Italy, India and Malaysia, the Micron Foundation is partnering with local charities and organizations to supply personal protective equipment, like face masks, sanitizers and gloves, to hospitals, health care professionals and local volunteers. In Taiwan, Micron is giving to the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families (TFCF) and its COVID-19 Home and School Care Project, programs that aim to ensure economic security, continuous learning and critical life support for disadvantaged families. In the U.S., Micron’s contribution to Second Harvest of Silicon Valley in California is helping one of the nation’s largest food banks grapple with record demand.
Learn more about Micron’s COVID-19 relief efforts at micron.com/covid-19-global-response.
IPO RECOGNIZES NOVARTIS FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Novartis has announced a broad range of initiatives to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts include the creation of a $20 million global fund to support impacted communities and entering into new collaborative research efforts such as the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, coordinated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard, as well as a COVID-19 directed partnership organized by the Innovative Medicines Initiative. Novartis and the Novartis US Foundation have also established a $5 million US COVID-19 Community Response Fund for immediate response and recovery efforts related to the pandemic.
The company has also made available a set of compounds from its libraries that it considers suitable for in vitro antiviral testing and is evaluating its existing products to see if any could be repurposed beyond their approved indications. The company will also donate up to 130 million doses of generic hydroxychloroquine to support the global COVID-19 pandemic response. Hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, are currently under evaluation in clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19. Novartis is supporting ongoing clinical trial efforts and will evaluate needs for additional clinical trials. When supported for use in COVID-19 infected patients by regulatory authorities, Novartis intends to donate up to 130 million 200 mg doses by the end of May, including its current stock of 50 million 200 mg doses. The company is also exploring further scaling of capacity to increase supply and is committed to working with manufacturers around the world to meet global demand. For additional details on these and other Novartis COVID-19-related efforts, see https://www.novartis.com/coronavirus.
IPO RECOGNIZES PFIZER FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Pfizer has identified a lead compound and analogues that are potent inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 3C-like (3CL) protease, based on the results of initial screening assays. In addition, preliminary data suggest that the lead protease inhibitor also has antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Pfizer will perform pre-clinical confirmatory studies, including further anti-viral profiling and assessment of the suitability of the lead molecule for IV administration clinically. In parallel, the company is investing in materials that will accelerate the start of a potential clinical study of the lead molecule to the third quarter of 2020, subject to positive completion of the pre-clinical confirmatory studies.
On the prevention front, Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech are jointly developing a potential mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine against COVID-19 infection. A Phase 1/2 clinical trial is already underway in Europe and will soon start in various sites in the United States. Twelve study participants have already been dosed with the vaccine candidate in Germany since dosing began on April 23rd.
Furthermore, in the United States, the Pfizer Foundation has provided a $500,000 grant to International Medical Corps. The funding will support the provision of urgently needed supplies to front-line health care workers, provide training, and deploy medical strike teams. Pfizer Inc has also donated select antibiotics to Direct Relief to manage complications related to COVID-19. The company and The Pfizer Foundation have also announced the commitment of $40 million in medical and charitable cash grants to help combat the global health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. and around the world. Pfizer is also responding to patient and health care provider needs during this unprecedented time by donating additional critical medicines and vaccines in the U.S. and around the world.
For more information about Pfizer’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES PPG FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. PPG and the PPG Foundation announced they will contribute more than $1.5 million to organizations supporting immediate community relief efforts and emerging recovery needs amid the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This contribution includes donations to Feeding America which is providing food to those facing hunger, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Cross Crescent Societies which support critical efforts in communities where PPG operates, the Chinese Red Cross Foundation to support recovery efforts in response to the crisis, and other local organization supporting PPG’s communities across the globe. PPG has also increased its employee matching donations program in the U.S. and Canada, committing up to $250,000 to double employee donations.
In addition to financial contributions, PPG has committed a variety of in-kind supply donations including paint and masks, totaling more than $500,000. As part of these donations, PPG provided 80,000 masks to hospitals in Pittsburgh, New York, Cleveland, Detroit and Huntsville, Ala., in support of COVID-19 relief efforts. The company also donated more than 290 gallons of MASTER’S MARK™ anti-bacterial interior latex coatings by PPG to Shanghai Tong Ren Hospital. For more information about PPG’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES PROCTER & GAMBLE FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Beginning in January, Procter & Gamble mobilized to provide the capability to manufacture and distribute personal protective equipment and cleaning products around the world. P&G is producing hand sanitizer in five plants around the globe: Surface Sanitizer for distribution to relief organizations and Safeguard Hand Sanitizer for hospitals, health authorities and for use at P&G facilities. P&G hopes to expand manufacturing capacity across the globe and produce 45,000 liters of hand sanitizer per week when all sites are fully operational. P&G is engineering and manufacturing capability to quickly produce face shields in Boston and Cincinnati, which are currently being used in hospitals and COVID-19 testing centers.
P&G is also producing critically needed medical face masks at nearly a dozen P&G manufacturing sites around the world, increasing the supply of masks for hospitals, first responders and other organizations. P&G is also producing non-medical face masks in China, the U.S., and expanding into other regions with the desire to produce millions of masks per month.
In addition to manufacturing much needed protective equipment and cleaning supplies, P&G has donated millions of P&G products from over 30 brands in more than 30 countries. This includes a $1 million donation from Vicks to Direct Relief, one of the world’s largest medical relief organizations which will provide protective gear, medicine, and equipment needed to treat an anticipated spike in ICU patients. It also includes donations made by P&G in Europe totaling $10 million in products and financial support toward relief efforts for COVID-19 response. These significant donations allow P&G to deliver everyday cleaning, health and hygiene essentials to those who need it most. For more information about P&G’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES SAP FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. The COVID-19 crisis has challenged business continuity. At SAP, they are helping customers manage employee productivity, maintain a healthy supply chain process and get the insights needed to support customers’ evolving needs as we all move through this journey. To help businesses with their supply chain, SAP is providing free access to Ariba Discovery, which helps businesses post their sourcing needs and get quick responses from suppliers as well as providing subscription free access to SAP Ariba Start Sourcing to help mitigate problems in supply base. SAP is also providing online learning opportunities through programs like their SAP Young Thinkers which is for students of secondary and vocational schools and IT beginners to help learn about computer and data science.
SAP is developing the Corona-Warn-App which is the official COVID-19 exposure notification app for Germany. This tracing app, created in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom, will collect anonymous data from nearby mobile phones using Bluetooth technology using open source data. The objectives of this app are to minimize the time between a person testing positive to being informed about a positive test result, to quickly inform citizens who were close to the positive case, and to maximize the reach of the notification to people the positive case was close to but does not personally know. This app will hopefully help to break the chain of infection.
This week, SAP has joined the Open Covid Pledge which is a pledge to make their intellectual property available free of charge for use in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and minimizing the impact of the disease. For more information about SAP’s efforts, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES STANLEY, BLACK & DECKER FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Stanley Black & Decker announced a $10+ million comprehensive COVID-19 philanthropic outreach program to help its communities and employees around the world combat the effects of the pandemic. The company provides critical support for those who keep the world’s critical infrastructure running. Their tools and storage units, engineered fasteners and security solutions are used by the essential health care, first responder, construction, maintenance, transportation, government and medical manufacturing workers. Their COVID-19 Community Response Task Force is already working with universities, hospitals, manufacturers and other partners around the globe to apply its innovation and expertise to tackle today’s challenges. Ongoing projects include 3D face shield printing, innovations in mask technology, and fasteners and battery technology for medical products such as respirators. For more information, please visit their website.
IPO RECOGNIZES TENNECO INC. FOR PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. Automotive component manufacturer Tenneco Inc. has partnered with General Motors and other manufacturers to increase the production of ventilators designed by Seattle-based Ventec Life Systems. Ventilators, which can be in short supply during times of rapid spread of COVID-19, provide help to critically ill patients. In a fast-moving effort called “Project V”, Tenneco quickly adapted its processes and capabilities for interior and exterior vehicle lighting to supply ventilator fan assemblies according to specifications from General Motors and Ventec, setting up a new production line in under a week. Just one month after this effort began, the first of these ventilators were delivered to two Chicago-area hospitals and a third shipment were delivered to at the Gary/Chicago International Airport for FEMA distribution.
IPO RECOGNIZES WELLS FARGO PROVIDING RELIEF AND SUPPORT DURING PANDEMIC
IPO is pleased to highlight members who are providing relief and support to their communities and the world during the current public health crisis. As part of a series of comprehensive actions that Wells Fargo is taking to help employees, customers and communities experiencing hardships related to COVID-19, the Wells Fargo Foundation is donating $175 million to help address public health needs, small business, housing, and financial stability for the most vulnerable populations. Philanthropic resources are currently being allocated via expedited grant-making at the local level and also through relief efforts with national and international organizations in order to serve the immediate needs of communities. This includes a $1 million grant to Feeding America to support their 200 member foodbanks as they work to feed people during this time of crisis, and a $10 million donation to the WE Care Fund to help Wells Fargo employees access assistance when necessary. Wells Fargo is also continuing to help public health organizations fight COVID-19, providing $1 million for the CDC Foundation and $250,000 to the International Medical Corps for their work in more than 30 countries, along with providing meals for health care workers and other needs.
Wells Fargo is also working on a daily basis to ensure they have measures in place to support the needs of their customers impacted by COVID-19 in the most effective ways. They are providing fee waivers, payment deferrals, and other expanded assistance for credit card, auto, mortgage, small business, and personal lending customers who contact them. From March 9 through April 24, Wells Fargo helped more than 1.7 million consumer, small business, and commercial customers by deferring approximately 1.4 million payments and providing over 1.8 million fee waivers. For more information about Wells Fargo’s efforts, please visit their website.