The new Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes a disease called Covid-19, affects work of all persons involved in intellectual property protection. This is especially true for official institutions such as the EPO and the EUIPO, which are large communities of officers, examiners, administrative and leading staff.
Although attorneys all over the World are active and are able to perform our work and services uninterruptedly, the European patent office (EPO) and the EU intellectual property office (EUIPO) have decided to automatically extend the deadlines for replies to office actions and other actions, which were/are due in the following period:
- from March 15th, 2020 (EPO)
- from March 9th to April 30th, 2020 (EUIPO).
The EPO decided that the deadlines are to be extended until April 17th, 2020, while the EUIPO postponed the deadlines until May 1st, 2020, which is a holiday, meaning that the actual period to respond will be May 4th, 2020.
Official notices can be found at the following links:
In case it is necessary, both Offices will additionally prolong the deadlines, but this of course depends on the spread of the virus as well as the number of infected people.
Although the decisions of EPO and EUIPO are welcomed and expected, the staff of your office expects that the extended deadlines will not be needed and that all planned activities will be performed in originally set periods.