Urgent update – UKIPO suspends deadlines

April 2020

In light of the current coronavirus pandemic, the UKIPO has declared a “general interruption”. See here.  It applies to all deadlines relating to UK patents, supplementary protection certificates, trade marks, registered designs, and applications for these rights as well as contentions proceedings including statutory deadlines and those set by staff members of the IPO under their discretionary powers.  

Any deadline falling due on or after 24 March 2020 is now considered to fall on an “interrupted day”.   Such deadlines will be extended until further notice from the UKIPO with a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice before the ending of the interruption period.  The UKIPO has stated it will review the position again on 17 April 2020.  Accordingly any deadline at the UKIPO falling due on after 24 March 2020 will be extended to at least 1 May 2020

This measure does not affect new applications filed during the interruption period that do not claim priority.  Such applications will be accorded a filing date as normal.  

The measure also does not apply to due dates set out in other international IP treaties, such as the Patent Convention Treaty or the European Patent Convention.

The action taken by the UKIPO relaxes the burden on applicants and proprietors to observe non-statutory deadlines during this difficult time.  However, we strongly advise our clients to continue working to the prescribed due dates as far as possible to avoid surges and back logs when the interruption period ends.

Please contact your usual Beck Greener team member if you have any questions.