COVID-19 update: UKIPO maintains extensions of deadlines until further notice
After carrying out a review on 17 April 2020, the UKIPO has updated their guidance and maintained the extension of trade mark deadlines until further notice.
As from 24 March 2020 all days are classed as ‘interrupted days’ meaning trade mark deadlines falling during this period are extended indefinitely. The UKIPO will be undertaking another review on 7 May 2020, when it will either continue or end the period of interruption. The UKIPO has also confirmed it will provide a minimum of two weeks’ notice before ending the period of interruption to allow customers to prepare for revised deadlines. This effectively means deadlines have been extended to at least 21 May 2020.
During this time of service disruption the UKIPO has advised:
- to continue to work to existing deadlines and treat interrupted days as simply a safety net where the normal course of business is not possible;
- to allow for additional time for information filed to be processed while the UKIPO adapts to new processes;
- to use online services and communicate digitally wherever possible, as posting and fax services have been suspended and the UKIPO is only issuing and receiving documents electronically;
- electronic signatures will be accepted and there is a new email address for services that are not available online – firstname.lastname@example.org;
- the interrupted days provision does not apply to trade mark priority applications and these applications should still be made within the six month priority window;
- the time allowed to respond to new examination reports has been extended to four months as opposed to the previous two months; and
- where possible the UKIPO will use discretionary powers available to support customers affected by the disruption.
If you have any questions on how this will impact you, please contact your usual Bird & Bird contact. For the UKIPO guidance in full, see: Coronavirus important update on IPO services and Alterations to services – trade marks and designs.