Coronavirus update: Agencies around the globe grant IP extensions

Everyone’s been up against deadlines the past few weeks, and for the rest of the spring. But during this health crisis, we have other things to worry about. Fortunately for in-house counsel and laypersons, the looming US tax deadline has been extended to July.

But that’s not all. Intellectual property offices around the world feel our pain and have have activated their business continuity protocol to take measures to support customers affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

For your convenience, a client note from the firm Williams Mullen provides a list of select waivers, fees, status of extensions and more. They caution that it is important to check the country where you are doing business to ensure that no deadlines are missed, and that your intellectual property is fully protected.

Here’s a partial list. For the full list, point your browser to the client note.

USPTO (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office)

  • Considers the effects of coronavirus to be an “extraordinary situation” for all patent and trademark parties; will waive petition fees in certain situations for customers impacted by COVID-19.
  • BUT will not grant waivers or extensions of dates or requirements set by trademark laws.

IPTO (Italian Patent and Trademark Office)

  • Italian Law decree suspends all terms provided by the Italian Industrial Property Code and by the IPTO between February 23 and April 15, 2020. Payments, renewals and validity of intellectual property rights expiring between February 23 and April 15 must be finalized by June 15, 2020.

EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office)

  • Extended all time limits and deadlines for IP expiring and any proceedings between March 9 and April 30, 2020 until May 1, 2020 (effectively May 4, since May 1 is a public holiday in much of Europe, followed by a weekend). The extension is automatic – no requirement to file a request with the Office.

EPO (European Patent Office)

  • Postpones oral proceedings before Examining and Opposition Divisions until further notice. Time limits expiring on or after March 15 are extended until April 17. If the disruption should continue after then, the EPO may consider further extensions and remedies.

UKIPO (UK Intellectual Property Office)

  • Will extend time periods where national and international legislation allows and with discretionary powers available to them. Willing to consider requests for extensions of time as favorably as possible on a case-by-case basis.

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