All EUIPO time limits regarding European Trademarks and Community Designs will be extended again due to the exceptional situation caused by the corona virus – until May 1, 2020.
This applies to all EUIPO time limits for trademarks and designs expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 and affecting all parties before EUIPO.
Time limits for patents are excluded from EUIPO
Patents and time limits concerning a European patent are excluded from this, as we have already explained in earlier contributions. This is because European patents – contrary to what the name suggests – do not only apply in a limited way to the EU Member States. The European Patent Organisation is an independent international organisation with currently 38 contracting states. Any extension of the time limits for patents would therefore have to be decided by the EPO. And indeed, the EPO is currently referring to the corono situation for mainly oral proceedings and also to an extension of the time limit.
Official statement of the World Health Organisation
EUIPO announced in an official notice of extension of time limits for trade marks and designs that the extension would be granted pursuant to Article 101 (4) CDR and Article 58 (4) CDIR. Previously, the extension applied to all time limits which would have expired between 30 January 2020 and 28 February 2020 inclusive.
Now, due to the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus, all EUIPO time limits relating to European trade marks and community designs have been extended for the second time – until 1 May 2020, for all time limits for trade marks and designs which would have expired or would expire between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020. In practice, this means an extension until 4 May, as 1 May is a public holiday, followed by a weekend.
The reason for this further extension of the EUIPO deadlines is the official declaration of the World Health Organization that the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on March 11, 2020, now constitutes a pandemic. The scale and status of the Corana outbreak is an exceptional event that has disrupted proper communication between the parties worldwide and the Office, says the EUIPO official statement.
CNIPA grants restoration of time limits
By the way, the Chinese Patent and Trademark Office (CNIPA) also announced a special regulation due to the corona situation weeks ago. If the situation with the corona virus results in the non-compliance with a deadline for patents and also for trademarks, the restoration of these rights is possible. This is an exception due to the corona virus, because the Chinese restoration right normally does not apply to trademarks.
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