Date: 1 July 2020
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, intellectual property offices in the UK, Germany and the EU have indicated that there will be some relaxation of deadlines, as follows.
Please note: due to the nature of this story, there may be further updates to the following information - we will add to and change this advice as and when further updates are announced.
The majority of deadlines from 24 March onwards have been extended until 29 July 2020. The UK IPO has confirmed that there will be no further extension, and so any deadlines which fall due between 24 March 2020 and 29 July 2020 will now be due on 30 July 2020.
Updated 1 July 2020: The UKIPO has announced fee reductions from 30 July 2020 until 21 March 2021. For patents and designs, there will be no surcharge for late payment of renewal fees, while for trade marks the surcharge will be reduced to £1. There will be no fees for extensions of time, reinstatement or restoration for patents, trade marks and designs, or for paying the patent application fee after the date of filing. These reductions are available to all applicants and there is no need to show evidence of disruption due to COVID-19.
Following a period of automatic deadline extensions, the EUIPO is now operating normally and all deadlines should be responded to. However, the EUIPO has stated that it will be sympathetic in considering further requests for deadline extensions.
From 2nd April 2020, all new oral proceedings before examining divisions will, by default, take place by videoconference (VC). Please read more on the EPO's arrangements for videoconferencing here: EPO shifts to videoconferencing.
All time limits expiring on or after 15 March 2020 are automatically extended until 2 June 2020. For time limits expiring before 15 March 2020, the EPO has facilitated the use of legal remedies for users located in areas directly affected by disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Updated 28 May 2020: EPO deadlines are not extended beyond 2 June 2020, but deadlines can still be extended under Rule 134(5) if evidence is provided that the applicant was unable to meet the deadline due to disruption by COVID-19.
All requests for an extension of a deadline are likely to be granted. However, deadlines set by law cannot be extended.
Should you have any questions or concerns in regards to your intellectual property, please contact Our Team
Please follow the link for more information about how Maucher Jenkins is ensuring business continuity during the pandemic: COVID-19 Maucher Jenkins Update