EPO in corona situation: EPO has just announced the extent to which EPO negotiations will take place in the corona situation. All EPO hearings are postponed until 4 May 2020. Time limits will be extended, according last Corona Update from 16 April 2020.
Update of 16 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.
The EPO (European Patent Office, in German EPO) is reacting to the current corona situation.
In a Corona update of 16 April 2020, the EPO decided to extend all time limits expiring on or after 15 March 2020 until 4 May 2020.
No oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal
In view of the pandemic spread of coronavirus, the Boards of Appeal will limit their judicial activity. According to the update of 16 March 2020, no hearings before the Boards of Appeal will take place until 30 April 2020. The parties concerned will be informed accordingly. Nevertheless, the Boards of Appeal will continue to issue written decisions, communications and summonses to oral proceedings, the EPO is currently planning.
Videoconference equivalent to hearing:
A video conference hearing and a hearing held on the premises of the European Patent Office (EPO) are equivalent, the EPO announced following the decision of 1 April and the update of 16 April.
A request for new oral proceedings before the same body may thus be refused (whether it relates to a video conference or to any other form of proceedings) if the parties and the facts of the case have remained unchanged in accordance with Article 116 EPC.
Time limits for patents before the EPO extended
Also, according to the latest information from the EPO (Update from 16 April), the deadlines for patents expiring on or after 15 March 2020 will be extended, initially until 4 May 2020 for all parties concerned, and according to Article 150(2) EPC, this also applies to international applications under the PCT.
Just like the EPO, the European Patent and Trademark Office (EUIPO) today announced a further extension of the time limits until 1 May 2020, which applies to time limits for EU trademarks and designs.
CNIPA grants restoration of time limits
We would like to point out that the Chinese Patent and Trademark Office (CNIPA) also announced a special regulation by the Corona situation weeks ago.
If the situation with the corona virus results in the failure to meet a time limits for patents and even for trademarks, it is possible that these rights will be restored.
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