Update on EPO Covid Provisions

April 2020

The EPO has announced that most periods expiring on or after 15 March 2020 are further extended for all parties and their representatives to 4 May 2020.  This applies also for international applications under the PCT.  The extension period may be extended again by the publication of another notice in case the current situation extends beyond the aforementioned date.  Please note that certain types of deadline are not extended, including those for final submissions before oral proceedings and for filing divisional applications.  If you think that you will have trouble meeting a current deadline due to COVID-19 then do get in touch about it.  The recent changes may provide a useful backup on a case by case basis should it be necessary.  In the interest of efficiency we will still, in general, be working towards the unextended due dates.

Board of Appeal - Oral Proceedings
In addition, the EPO has now announced that oral proceedings will not be held in the premises of the Boards of Appeal until 15 May 2020. Concerned parties will be contacted accordingly with a communication.
 
Examining Division and Opposition Division - Oral Proceedings
Oral proceedings up to 30 April 2020 will be postponed unless they are examination division oral proceedings which can take place by videoconference.  A pilot scheme for videoconference oral proceedings before opposition divisions has also been announced.

Full details of all these updates can be seen on the EPO website.

If you need any further information, please contact us.