Intellectual property offices around the world have adopted different strategies for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. We summarise the approach taken by the UKIPO, EUIPO and WIPO below (please note that other registries have varying procedures):
- UKIPO: 24 March 2020 and subsequent days until further notice are designated as ‘interrupted days’ and this will next be reassessed on 28 May 2020. Any deadlines which fall on an interrupted day will be extended until the IPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period, plus 2 weeks’ advance notice before deadlines resume. Please note that, due to limitations of the UK IPO online system, one month extensions to original opposition deadlines should be filed by the original deadline.Put simply, the deadlines are extended until at least 12 June 2020.
- EUIPO: All deadlines falling in the period 9 March 2020 to 30 April 2020 were originally extended to 1 May 2020, but these deadlines and any others falling between 1 and 17 May 2020 have subsequently been further extended until 18 May 2020. This does not apply to appeals to the General Court.
- WIPO: No automatic extensions to deadlines are granted, although there are remedies available for missed deadlines – evidence may be required.
We are encouraging clients to try and meet original deadlines where possible and desirable to avoid building up a backlog and a need for urgent action once the extensions come to an end.
We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates on key developments at www.wiggin.co.uk/expertise/covid-19/ as and when they arise.
Updated as of 7 May 2020.