In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the UKIPO has extended its previously announced “general interruption”, which applies to all deadlines relating to UK patents, supplementary protection certificates, trade marks, registered designs, and applications for these rights, as well as contentious proceedings before the Office.
As explained previously, any deadline at the UKIPO falling due on or after 24 March 2020 is now considered to fall on an “interrupted day”. Such deadlines will be extended until after the period of interruption ends. This end date has yet to be set, though the UKIPO reviewed the situation on 17 April 2020, and has decided to leave the general interruption in place for the time being. They will review the position again on 7 May 2020, and stated that they will give at least two weeks’ notice of their decision to end the interruption. Accordingly, any deadline at the UKIPO falling due on after 24 March 2020 will be extended to at least 21 May 2020.
The measure does not apply to due dates set out in other international IP treaties, such as the Patent Convention Treaty or the European Patent Convention.
Also, this measure does not affect new applications filed during the interruption period that do not claim priority. Such applications will be accorded a filing date as normal.
However, the UKIPO is unable to confirm that the interruption extends the deadline by which UK trade mark or design applications can claim priority from earlier dated filings in other countries. Therefore, both they and we recommend any new UK trade mark or design applications with a priority claim be filed within the usual 6 months of the date of the first filing abroad.
We strongly advise our clients to continue working to the prescribed due dates as far as possible to avoid surges and backlogs when the interruption period ends.
Please contact your usual Beck Greener team member if you have any questions.