On 24 March 2020 the UK Intellectual Property Office (“UKIPO”) announced the introduction of ‘interrupted days’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An ‘interrupted day’ is defined as ‘a day in which the normal course of business at the IPO is not possible’.
This means that deadlines for patents, supplementary protection certificates, trademarks, designs and all related applications which fall on an interrupted day will now be extended until the next uninterrupted day.
On 7 May 2020, the UKIPO decided to continue this period of suspension until at least 28 May 2020 when this will be reviewed again. There will be a notice period of at least two weeks prior to the end of the interrupted days and as such, the interrupted days period should now continue until at least mid-June.
We anticipate that the period of “interrupted days” might be brought to an end when the UK enters the next phase of the Government’s plan to ease lockdown, which we understand will be no earlier than 1 June 2020.
More information about UKIPO services is available here.
The EUIPO initially announced that all deadlines expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 were to be extended to 1 May 2020. The EUIPO has now announced a further extension of deadlines expiring between 1 May 2020 and 17 May 2020, to 18 May 2020. Therefore, in effect, most of the EUIPO deadlines that expired on or after 9 March 2020 are now extended until at least 18 May 2020.
We anticipate that this time frame will be reviewed again by the EUIPO within the coming days and extended further if considered necessary.
More information about EUIPO services is available here.
Although these deadlines have been extended by both the UKIPO and the EUIPO, we are continuing to work towards to original deadlines wherever possible.
If you have any questions about the changes referred to above and how you may be impacted, please get in touch with the Brabners Trade Mark and Intellectual Property Team – we would be happy to assist you in any way that we can.
We will review again on 28 May. We will give customers advance notice (at least 2 weeks) to plan prior to the end of interrupted days.