Knowledge & News

European Union IP Office Covid-19 Extension

29 April 2020

Following its initial announcement on 16th March 2020 extending all time limits until 1 May 2020, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), have announced today, 29th April 2020, that all time limits expiring between 1 May 2020 and 17 May 2020 will be extended until 18 May 2020.

As previously, the extension will cover all procedural deadlines, irrespective of whether they have been set by the EUIPO or are stipulated directly in the Regulations, and the effect of the extension is automatic.

In accordance with the explanatory note published here, the term “all time limits” covers:

  • time limits set by the Office in any proceeding before the EUIPO, including the EUIPO Boards of Appeal; and
  • time limits imposed directly by the EU Trade Marks Regulations and Community Designs Regulations, including those originating from the Paris Convention or other International Treaties.

However the extension does not extend to proceedings before other authorities, such as the deadline for bringing an action before the General Court against decisions of the Boards of Appeal.

It is notable that the Office will continue to function in respect of any actions or procedural obligations that parties to proceedings before the EUIPO choose to discharge prior to the extended time limit. This means that, for example, that where the extended time limit concerns the submission of the last round of observations in an Opposition, Cancellation or RCD Invalidity action, and observations are submitted by the party concerned, the Office will close the adversarial stage of the proceedings, inform the parties accordingly and rule on the case on the basis of the evidence before it.

Similarly, if a response is filed against an absolute grounds objection, the Office will proceed to re-assess the eligibility for registration of the application before it.

We would recommend that we work to the original deadlines wherever possible, in order to avoid any potential backlog in cases following expiry of the extension, unless there is any commercial or strategic benefit in utilising the extension. In particular, the extension may provide more time in which to assemble evidence of use of a trade mark, or to conclude settlement negotiations with a third party.

The offices for Marks & Clerk have transitioned to working from home and we are able to deliver our full range of services to our clients. Please contact your local office or attorney directly, should you wish to arrange for a telephone or video conference regarding your IP rights.

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Erik Rouk

Erik Rouk Trainee Trade Mark Attorney Edinburgh (UK) Glasgow (UK)

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