Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, European Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”), with its decision dated 16 March 2020, decided to extend all deadlines for transactions and proceedings falling between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 to 1 May 220.
Similarly, European Patent Office (“EPO”) has decided to postpone until further notice all oral proceedings in examination and opposition proceedings scheduled until 17 April 2020 unless they have already been confirmed to take place by means of videoconferencing. Moreover, it has been decided to extend all deadlines falling on and after 15 March 2020 until 17 April 2020.
Different to the above practices, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is continuing operations under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs, the Lisbon System for the International Registration of Geographical Indications as well as other intellectual property. By acknowledging the difficulties the parties may face, WIPO still offers options to remedy any missed deadlines. Indeed, for example, the users of the Madrid System who have failed to meet a time limit for a communication addressed to WIPO may be excused if they send that communication within five days after regaining access to mail or delivery services or to electronic communication. In any event, the WIPO must receive the communication no later than six months from the date on which the time limit concerned expired.