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In response to outbreak of COVID-19, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has declared 24 March 2020, and all subsequent days until further notice, ‘interrupted days’.
This means that any deadlines which fall on an interrupted day will be extended until the IPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period.
This ‘holding over’ of deadlines until the end of the declared interrupted period will only have effect for deadlines set by the UKIPO. It does not apply to time periods set out under the various international IP treaties e.g. the Patent Cooperation Treaty, European Patent Convention, or the Madrid system, where the Office may be acting as a Receiving Office.
It does also not affect filing dates of IP applications which are filed at the Office and do not claim priority from a previous application, that is first time filings. These will be assigned a filing date under the usual rules.
UPDATE: On 17 April 2020, the UKIPO reviewed their position and, due to continuation of the current government restrictions to combat the Coronavirus outbreak, they have decided to extend this period of interruption. The UKIPO will review the situation in 3 weeks’ time on 7 May 2020 and will either continue with the period of interruption or announce that the period will end.
This decision by the UKIPO follows our earlier reported announcement that the EPO and EUIPO have temporarily extended their deadlines.
Wilson Gunn is continuing to operate as normal with all of our team members working remotely. Whilst we are able to meet any existing deadlines, we welcome these measures which will provide some relief to businesses impacted by COVID-19.
If you have any concerns relating to any deadline before the UKIPO, EPO or EUIPO, please do not hesitate to get in touch.