The German Patent and Trademark Office informs recently that in response to the corona situation that a reinstatement of time limits is possible.
Update of 9 April 2020
Due to the constant readjustment of the offices and authorities, we have put a weekly overview in our blog, which takes into account new updates of the offices and authorities. The explanations in this article are still valid, for the most current data for deadline postponement or deadline recovery please refer to our weekly Corona Update – HERE.
With regard to the current corona situation, the German Patent and TradeMark Office (DPMA) informs how the DPMA tries to take this situation into account appropriately when conducting IPR proceedings. Moreover visitor traffic at the DPMA will remain closed for the time being, and enquiry units and search rooms of the DPMA will also be closed to visitors until further notice.
Time limits before the DPMA
After the last update of 9 April 2020, all time limits in all ongoing property right proceedings granted by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office will be
ex officio extended until 4 May 2020 or no decision will be taken before then due to the expiry of the deadline. No separate communications will be made
about the deadline extensions.
Legally determined time limits, on the other hand, cannot be extended by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, not even in a special situation such as the current corona situation. However, the DPMA points out that it is possible to restore time limits to their previous status after a request.
Thus, anyone who misses a legally defined deadline due to no fault of his own due to the current circumstances can have his proceedings reopened upon request. Each application will be examined by the Office on a case-by-case basis. If the conditions for restitutio in integrum are met, the applicant is placed in a position as if he had complied with the time limit, he informs the DPMA about his action in the corona situation.
It is particularly important in this context that this also applies to requests for extension of time limits, which have been determined by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office.
With regard to time limits in connection with requests for international registration or subsequent designation under the Protocol to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the Madrid Agreement (PMMA), the DPMA refers to the regulations of the WIPO. Also with regard to subsequent designations to an internationally registered trade mark it is strongly recommended to file the requests (MM4) directly with WIPO.
Until further notice, the DPMA will no longer issue invitations to hearings or to oral proceedings; this applies to unilateral as well as multilateral proceedings.
For the time being, visitor traffic at the DPMA will be closed, and enquiry units and search rooms of the DPMA will also be closed to visitors until further notice. All counters and collection points of the DPMA will also be closed until further notice, this applies from Wednesday, 18 March, 3 p.m.
Restoration of time limits in China
If you missed the time limits according to patents in China, there are in general two options for restoring the IP rights before the Chinese Patent and Trademark Office (CNIPA). The procedure in China is similar to the restoration of rights under EPC rules, however, without remedy as Further processing. But due to the situation of Corona, the CNIPA also announced a special regulation by the Corona situation weeks ago.
Any more questions according protection for a patent or trademark?