25 June 2020
Brands update - July 2020 – 1 of 9 Insights
The UKIPO has announced that the automatic extension of deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end on 29 July 2020. All deadlines which were automatically extended will now fall on Thursday, 30 July 2020, the first normal day of operation. This follows the end to the automatic extension of deadlines by the EUIPO on 17 May 2020.
For context, the UKIPO declared 24 March 2020 and subsequent days until further notice to be "interrupted days" as a result of the pandemic. Any deadlines for trade marks, designs, and applications for these rights which fall on an interrupted day are automatically extended to the next non-interrupted day.
The extension applies to all deadlines set out in the various relevant UK Acts and Rules, and to all non-statutory deadlines specified by UKIPO staff. However, it does not apply to deadlines set out under the various international IP treaties, such as the Madrid system, where the UKIPO may be acting as a Receiving Office (separate remedies might be available under the various international systems). The UKIPO has been keeping the position under review and regularly extending the period of interrupted days. The latest announcement is that the last interrupted day will be 29 July 2020, meaning that all deadlines which were automatically extended now fall on 30 July 2020.
It may still be possible to obtain an extension of time on a UKIPO matter on a case-by-case basis, but an application will have to be made in the usual way. To ease the burden on businesses, the UKIPO is seeking Parliamentary approval to enable the temporary removal of fees for certain time extension requests.
Note that the UKIPO remains operational and able to conduct all forms of business. However, it has published some alterations to its services.
A detailed guide setting out how the IPOs in over 70 jurisdictions worldwide are responding to COVID-19 is available here. Watch out for our updated version of the guide next week.