SONN Patentanwälte – IP Attorneys

COVID-19: Update on extensions of time limits by the patent and trademark offices

Extension of time limits and oral proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO) According to a communication from the EPO dated 1 May 2020, deadlines expiring on or after 15 March 2020 are extended until 2 June 2020 for all parties and their representatives. Like the previous extensions, this extension applies to time limits relating to European as well as international (PCT) patent applications. The extension also applies to the payment of fees, including renewal fees. In addition, all oral proceedings in opposition proceedings scheduled before 2 June 2020 (previously 30 April 2020 and 17 April 2020) will be postponed until further notice, unless they have already been confirmed to take place by means of videoconferencing or are converted into oral proceedings by videoconference with the parties’ consent within the pilot project on oral proceedings in opposition proceedings. Oral hearings in examination proceedings are held by videoconferencing. Oral proceedings will still not be held before the Boards of Appeal until 15 May 2020, unless they are conducted as video-conferences (see here). In order to allow the public to participate in oral proceedings conducted by video conference, they will be broadcast to a dedicated room located at the premises of the Boards of Appeal which is accessible to the public. If the public health situation permits, the Boards of Appeal plan to resume the holding of a limited number of oral proceedings at their premises from Monday 18 May 2020. Extension of time limits by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) EUIPO provides for an extension of all deadlines (see previous news article of 23 April 2020) until 18 May 2020. In effect, all deadlines that would have expired between 9 March 2020 and 17 May 2020 will be extended until 18 May 2020 (see communication by the EUIPO).