WIPO has published information in case of non-compliance with a deadline by the corona situation. Failure to meet a time-limit at WIPO by Corona must be proven, this must be sent within five days after the communication is regained. A continuation of the processing must be requested.
Update of 2 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.
Appeals to WIPO against failure to comply with a time limit
Due to the particular corona situation, access to postal delivery services and electronic communications could be severely restricted, WIPO published in its latest information on the corona situation. In particular, a temporary cessation of business, quarantine or self-isolation could lead to non-compliance with a time-limit at WIPO.
In this respect, users of the Madrid system and also of the Hague system who fail to comply with a prescribed time limit for a communication addressed to the International Bureau of WIPO may be excused if the communication is sent within five days of regaining access to postal or delivery services or to electronic communications.
In any event, the communication must be received by the International Bureau of WIPO no later than six months after the relevant deadline.
Evidence of the reason must be provided, which may be, for example, an official communication, an official announcement or a certificate from a licensed medical practitioner. Evidence of non-compliance with a deadline must also be received by the International Bureau no later than six months after the relevant deadline.
Continuation of the processing
Owners and applicants may request that the International Bureau of WIPO continue to process, correct or amend an international application. They may request further processing without giving reasons or providing evidence.
Applicants or holders must request further processing by submitting the official form MM20 to the International Bureau of WIPO within two months after the expiry of the time limits mentioned above and must comply with all prescribed requirements.
Closure of contract offices
The offices of the Contracting Parties should inform the International Bureau of WIPO of the exact periods during which they are not open to the public. As soon as these dates are known, the offices of the Contracting Parties are also requested to indicate the date on which they will be reopened.
It is also important in this context that all time limits under the Madrid system which concern this Office (e.g. the time limit for filing a provisional refusal), including the time limit for the holder to reply to a communication from the Office (e.g. the time limit for replying to a notification of provisional refusal), are also extended accordingly. This is relevant in so far as under Rule 4. 4 of the Implementing Regulations a time limit which expires on a day on which an Office is not open to the public would expire on the first subsequent day on which the Office is reopened.
The Hague Systems relating to a time limit at WIPO (e.g. the time limit for filing a refusal of protection with the International Bureau), including those granted by that Office to holders of international registrations (e.g. the time limit for responding to a refusal), will also be extended accordingly. Documents and communications of a non-confidential nature may also be filed with the International Bureau. Documents can be uploaded by contacting The Hague, informs WIPO.
WIPO requests electronic communication
In addition, WIPO encourages electronic communication wherever possible. Therefore, everyone is requested to provide an e-mail address in order to receive electronic communications from the International Bureau of WIPO. Those who have not yet provided an e-mail address can do so via the Contact Madrid electronic service.
Applicants, holders and representatives may submit requests to the International Bureau of WIPO via the upload function in the Madrid Portfolio Manager or via the Contact Madrid electronic service.
Only PDF versions of D0 documents
Until further notice, WIPO will only supply electronic versions – in PDF format – of the following documents:
– certified copies of certificates of international registration and renewal
– certificates; and,
– detailed certified extracts.
In addition, due to the temporary closure of public services, the International Bureau of WIPO has suspended the following services until further notice:
– Issuance of simple authenticated extracts;
– legalization of documents; and
– accelerated services.
Finally, all applicants, proprietors and their representatives are advised not to wait until the last minute before submitting time-critical communications to the International Bureau or the offices of the contracting parties – a sensible recommendation which we naturally apply ourselves and which we are happy to pass on here.
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