HomeInsightsIntellectual Property Office publishes update on its services

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Due to the unprecedented disruption, and to support rights holders, businesses and IP professionals at this time, the IPO has decided to declare 24 March 2020 and subsequent days interrupted days until further notice. This means that any deadlines for trade marks, including applications, which fall on an interrupted day will be extended until the IPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period. The IPO will provide a minimum of two weeks’ notice before ending the interrupted days period.

The IPO will review the situation in three weeks’ time (17 April 2020) and will either continue with the period of interruption or announce that the period will end after a further two weeks. The IPO has published a formal notice and certificate of declaration setting out the relevant information.

The IPO encourages people to continue to work to existing deadlines if possible. Interrupted days have been introduced as a safety net where the normal course of business is not possible.

As for postal and paper services, the IPO is currently unable to process paper forms, faxes and paper correspondence. No documents can be filed by hand at its offices. Customers should use online services and communicate with the IPO digitally whenever possible.

The IPO is able to accept electronic signatures on forms and other documents.

The IPO has also created a new email address for services that are not available online at paperformcontingency@ipo.gov.uk. This can be used instead of faxing or posting documents. The office is no longer processing documents through the fax service until further notice.

If customers do file paperwork by post, these documents will not be processed until normal services are resumed and the sites re-open. At this point they will be given the date of receipt as a provisional filing date.

The IPO will extend time periods where national and international legislation allows. It will support affected customers using the discretionary powers available to it.

The IPO says that it will continue to update its website with any changes to services and it will provide more details as matters develop. To read the IPO update in full, click here.