COVID-19: EU Intellectual Property Office update on time limits

On 15 May 2020 the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published guidance on the expiry of time limits for EU trade marks and Community Designs amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Executive Director of the EUIPO, Christian Archambeau,  released a video along with the guidance where he gave details on the first phase of the Office’s return plan, to be carried out in full compliance with health and safety advice.

The guidance provides that all proceedings will resume as normal and that any extensions granted to owners/representatives of marks and designs will come to an end as of 18 May 2020.

Despite extensions coming to an end, the EUIPO provides further information for those who continue to be impacted by the outbreak and are struggling to cope with time limits  ‘in case they still face operational difficulties in view of the pandemic arising from measures taken by public authorities against the pandemic, or sickness of the party and / or their representative, etc.’

The note gives guidance on the following:

  • Extension of time limits in ex parteand inter partes proceedings;
  • Suspension of proceedings;
  • Continuation of proceedings; and
  • Restitutio in Integrum (restoration of an injured party).

Currently, extensions remain in place for both the European Patent Office (extended until 2 June 2020) and the United Kingdom Intellectual Property (due to reviewed on 28 May 2020).

For more information on the EUIPO’s guidance on time limits, click here

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