SONN Patentanwälte – IP Attorneys

The principle of legitimate expectation also applies to extensions of time due to COVID-19

If the European Patent Office issues a promise or statement on how to act in a given area (in this case: general extensions of time limits due to the COVID 19 pandemic), the principle of legitimate expectations requires that promise or statement to be honoured unless there is good reason not to do so. Users and representatives cannot be expected to question, without any apparent reason, statements on the extension of time limits which are made in publications under Rule 134(4) EPC. Even in the absence of a general dislocation in the delivery or transmission of mail, they can rely on such publications without suffering any disadvantages (EPO BoA 22 November 2021, J 10/20).