COVID-19 UK Intellectual property office

What is the interruption?

Under the relevant patents, trade marks and designs rules* the Comptroller has the power to certify that there is an event or circumstances causing an interruption in the normal operation of the Office.

An interruption was certified on 27th March, from 24th March until further notice.

*Rule 110 of the Patents Rules 2007 (as amended), Rule 75 of the Trade Marks Rules 2008 (as amended), and Rule 40 of the Design Rules 2006 (as amended).

What deadlines are interrupted?

This means that most deadline for patents, supplementary protection certificates, trade marks, designs, and applications for these rights which fall an interrupted day will be extended until the first day after the end of the interruption.

This applied to all time periods set out in the Acts and Rules, and to all non-statutory periods that have been specified by UKIPO staff.

The UKIPO has been unable to issue letters in relation to renewals. Due to the complicated rules around renewals and grace periods. Please contact us for more information if you are concerned about the extension of your renewal deadline.

It is important to note that the interruption does not apply to time periods set out under the various international IP treaties, e.g. the PCT, EPC or the Madrid System, where the UKIPO may be acting as a Receiving Office.

When does the interruption end and what does this mean?

The interrupted days period will end on 29th July. This means that all interrupted days deadlines will expire on 30th July.

The UKIPO is working to ease the burden on businesses following the end of the period of interruption. This includes seeking Parliamentary approval to enable the temporary removal of fees for requests of extensions. Creation IP will keep you up to date as this develops.

Please contact your usual Creation IP Attorney for more details.

This article (and any information accessed through links in this article) is provided for information and educational purposes only. This article does not constitute professional legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before performing any action based on the information provided in this article. All professional legal advice will be given in accordance with Creation IP Terms of Business. Please contact us for further information.


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