June 27, 2022
The IPO statement contains information relating to sanctions and operational matters.
The UK government’s position is clear, and like everyone in the UK, the IPO says that it is “appalled by Russia’s despicable actions” and “stand[s] unequivocally behind Ukraine and its people”. The UK’s economic sanctions against Russia include intellectual property, and the IPO is “enforcing these sanctions robustly”. Accordingly, the IPO will not be providing services to those on the sanctions list, either directly or through their agents.
Clearly, most Ukrainian customers and rights holders are not thinking about their IP currently. However, the IPO has put in place a package of immediate measures to provide the fullest support to customers in Ukraine.
The IPO assures Ukrainian customers that it will support them to safeguard their IP rights when they are ready or able to contact it. The IPO will use the maximum flexibility available in law to consider requests for extensions of time, reinstatements and restorations. The IPO says that it wants to make it as simple as possible for customers to make such requests, and it will be happy to talk through the process whenever an applicant or agent contacts it.
Given that communications are difficult, and in some cases impossible, in Ukraine currently, the IPO will continue to send all communications electronically where possible. For those customers where the IPO only holds a postal address, it can arrange an alternative method of communication when those customers are able and ready to get in contact.
Where a customer has files or records relating to UK IP rights or applications that may have been lost, damaged or destroyed in Ukraine, the IPO will be providing all the assistance it can to reconstitute these. To read the IPO’s statement in full, click here.