As a result of Covid-19, many of the offices around the world that administer intellectual property rights, including the UK Intellectual Property Office, EU IPO and WIPO, have extended the time limits which apply in respect of proceedings in front of them. This can include opposition and renewal dates. However, care needs to be taken as the extensions are different depending the Intellectual Property Office. Furthermore, they will not cover proceedings before other bodies such as the courts.
If you are concerned about any trade mark rights or proceedings that affect you, please contact us or seek details from the relevant intellectual property office.
Even where a deadline is inadvertently missed, it is likely that the relevant office will take a lenient approach to any belated requests for an extension to that deadline. It is also worth noting that proprietors of trade marks can use the late renewal processes to address any marks which have inadvertently been allowed to lapse.
The courts generally remain open and there have been not any automatic suspensions or extensions of the time limits that apply to these proceedings. Where parties are placed into difficulty in complying with these deadlines, parties should seek to agree extensions between themselves before applying to the court.
Where possible, courts are conducting hearings on paper or via video/teleconferencing proceedings. Further information about those arrangements are set out in our earlier litigation update here.
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