Update: COVID-19 and Intellectual Property
The outbreak of COVID-19 has already vastly affected businesses across the globe and will continue to do so for some time yet. It is likely that it will continue to do so for the near future (at least), and a large number of companies are being forced to take a different course to what they may have envisaged.
Intellectual Property Offices have acknowledged that businesses are less likely to be in a position to meet deadlines. As a result, they have been either extended or relaxed across all areas of intellectual property. For example:
Requests for extensions of time will be considered “as favourably as possible on a case-by-case basis” and where national and international legislation allows.
All deadlines falling between 9 March and 17 May 2020 before the EUIPO have automatically been extended until 18 May 2020. This does not apply to deadlines to further appeal Board of Appeal decisions to the General Court, which remain as originally set.
Deadlines remain as originally set but there are steps that can be taken if deadlines are missed. Evidence for the reason why the deadline was missed may be required.
Other national offices in the EU have varying procedures. In relation to courts, in England, along with both the General Court and Court of Justice of the EU, the deadlines currently remain as set.
For further information on any of the items mentioned in this article, please contact any member of the IP team.