The UK IPO has announced (link) support for applicants affected by coronavirus, saying that:
"The IPO will take whatever measures we can to support rights applicants and their attorneys who have been affected."
In brief, the UK IPO has indicated that it will use its discretionary powers (on a case-by-case basis) to extend time limits where possible under national and international law.
For example, the law for UK patent applications sets a "compliance period" during which the patent application must be placed in order for acceptance for grant. If the application is not placed in order for grant by the end of the period then it is refused. It is possible to get a single automatic extension to that deadline. However, any further extension is discretionary and can be difficult to obtain. With the support announced by the UK IPO, this kind of discretionary extension should be readily available, subject to the supply of appropriate supporting evidence (e.g. a declaration).
Similarly, where there is a loss of rights due to a missed deadline as a result of coronavirus, it appears that the UK IPO will use its discretionary powers (where possible) to look favourably on applications for restoration of rights.
If you have concerns about a forthcoming deadline or a missed deadline then please get in touch with your usual Wynne-Jones contact.
Coronavirus - UK IPO, EPO and EU IPO extensions and support
A simple overview of the current status from IPOs. Last updated 18th May 2020.
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UPDATE - UK IPO support for those affected by Coronavirus
Exceptional extensions of time limits at the EUIPO to end on 18 May 2020.
The Executive Director of the EUIPO has announced that the all time limits on trade mark and design matters at the EUIPO expiring between 9 March 2020 and 17 May 2020 will expire on 18 May 2020. The EUIPO is not extending these time limits further.
If you have any questions then please get in touch with your usual Wynne-Jones contact.
BREAKING NEWS - German Federal Constitutional Court decides on UPC complaint
The German Federal Constitutional Court has now issued its long-awaited decision (source) in case 2 BvR 739/17 which was a complaint against the German Ratification Law under which Germany was to ratify the UPC.
EPO announces extensions to deadlines due to COVID-19
On Sunday 15 March 2020 the EPO published a notice advising it is invoking the provisions of Rule 134(2) EPC, and has extended all periods expiring on or after publication of the notice to 17 April 2020. This may be extended by the EPO upon publication of a further notice.
EUIPO extends all deadlines for Community Design and European Union Trade Marks
Last updated: 30 April 2020
The Executive Director of the EUIPO has today (29 April 2020) issued a decision regarding extensions for all time limits on trade mark and design matters at the EUIPO. In accordance with these decisions, all time limits expiring between 9 March 2020 and 17 May 2020 inclusive are extended until 18 May 2020.
*Update* “EPO Board of Appeal finds Broad Institute’s CRISPR patent to lack valid priority claim and upholds revocation of patent (T 0844/18)”
Earlier this year, we reported on the EPO Board of Appeal’s decision to uphold the revocation of the Broad Institute’s CRISPR patent (here). Now it appears that the Broad Institute is gearing up to put forward a petition for review by the Enlarged Board of Appeal as a last resort to save their patent.