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Transition to remote work with temporary closure of physical office in Tokyo

We at IP Firm SHUWA hope you and your families are safe and in good health.

The Japanese government has declared a monthlong state of emergency covering Tokyo and six other prefectures amid the spread of Covid-19.

As measures based on the declaration, the Tokyo Governor requests that economic activities in Tokyo be suspended during the one-month period (until May 6, 2020) encouraging workers to stay home or work remotely, except those supplying daily necessities such as food, medicine, hygiene products, and fuel and related services.

Although the request is not legally binding, we have decided to close our physical office in Tokyo and work fully remotely during this emergency period. We confirm that our office remains fully operational and continues to operate without any disruption.

In view of this emergency situation, however, we would like to make the following requests.

  1. Please send all of your communications via electronic mail to the member(s) of our staff with whom you usually correspond so that we may ensure the timely processing of your communications. (We confirm, however, that those by airmail or courier will be received as usual.)

  2. Our communications that may include instructions to your firm may be delayed due to the current situation.
    Therefore, if you do not receive our instructions at the last minute of the due date, please proceed with the pending procedure for each case (e.g. request for the substantive examination for patent, payment of registration fee or maintenance fee) not to miss the deadline, so that each case may be kept in force.

  3. We would appreciate it if you would give us your instructions such as those for application filing, examination request, responding to office actions, and annuity payment, well before due dates.

  4. Under the circumstances, our communications such as filing reports to your firm may take longer to reach you than usual.

We would very much appreciate your kind understanding and cooperation.

Moreover, please be informed that on April 3, 2020, the Japan Patent Office (hereinafter called "JPO") announced relief measures for failure or delays in procedures for filing patents, utility models, designs, and trademarks, caused by Covid-19 infection or impact therefrom. For detailed information, see
https://www.jpo.go.jp/e/news/koho/saigai/covid19_procedures.html

If you have any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The whole world is now facing difficult times. We sincerely hope that you all will stay healthy and safe.