What you need to know now the intellectual property offices in both the UK and the EU have published guidance on the extension of deadlines as a result of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic.
The new guidance has been issued on the basis that the pandemic has significantly affected worldwide communication, and therefore constitutes an exceptional occurrence disrupting communication between the offices and users.
The EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has announced that all time limits in proceedings which expire “between 9 March and 30 April, that affect all parties before the Office” are extended to 1 May 2020.
The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) will not give an automatic extension of deadlines but will use its discretionary powers to permit an extension of time periods where allowed under national or international legislation. Any requests for an extension of time will be considered on a case by case basis. If deadlines are missed, and the failure to meet a time period results in a loss of trade mark or design rights, the UKIPO will consider whether those rights may be reinstated or restored. This will depend on the nature of the late response and the circumstances of the delay, but the UK IPO has stated that it is willing to consider any such requests as favourably as possible.