COVID-19: ABG IP working with normality. Updated Information on Intellectual Property Offices
LAST UPDATE: 27/05/2020 18:30 (GMT +2)
Trying to predict the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is extremely complex. However, we have already identified some of the lessons we have learned.
Despite the exceptional circumstances, ABG Intellectual Property is very proud of having been able to continue working in the usual way, guaranteeing the safety of our team and the quality of the service we have provided to our clients.
The time has now come for us to step forward and we are ready to do this. Therefore, on June 1 we will reopen our office.
This date also coincides with the resumption of the administrative deadlines announced in the Royal Decree of May 23. As a result there will be a return to normality in the filing and prosecution procedures before the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM).
The Royal Decree has set the date of June 4, for the resumption of the procedural terms of the Courts of Justice.
It should be noted that the extension of the deadlines before the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) expired on May 18. In addition the exceptional extension of these deadlines approved by the European Patent Office (EPO) ends next Tuesday, June 2.
This news is undoubtedly a cause for optimism and ABG Intellectual Property, has taken measures to avoid having to take any steps back during this period.
We have prioritised teleworking through secure VPNs, which not only avoids unnecessary risks to our team members, but also provides a balance between their work and family life. As before, their telephones and email addresses are fully operational, so if you would like to arrange a meeting at our offices, to safeguard the health of everyone, it is essential to make an appointment.
ABG Intellectual Property
Announcements from Intellectual Property Offices
Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO)
On 14 March 2020, Royal Decree 463/2020 declaring state of alarm entered into force in Spain. Consequently, the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) reported on 16 March 2020 (read the announcement in Spanish) that, as a general rule, its administrative procedures were suspended. Thus:
– Time periods that were already “alive” before the entry into force of the Royal Decree are interrupted. They will continue running when the Royal Decree (or extensions thereof) losses effect (1 June)*.
– Time periods that are “born” during the state of alarm shall begin to run from the first working day when the Royal Decree (or extensions thereof) losses effect (1 June)*.
– Time limits for administrative appeals shall be calculated from the working day following the date on which the state of alarm ceases to apply (1 June)*, irrespective of the time that has elapsed since the notification of the administrative action which is the subject of the appeal before the declaration of the state of alarm.
(*)The Royal Decree of May 23 announces that the resumption of the administrative deadlines will be effective on 1 June. As a result there will be a return to normality in the filing and prosecution procedures before the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM).
Telephone and electronic customer services available.
Exception to the general rule
The RD 463/2020 permits that those procedures in progress or those initiated during this period will be processed, provided that the person concerned in the procedure expresses its consent. To clarify this exception to the general rule of Suspension of Administrative Deadlines, the Director of SPTO issued on 25 March 2020 a Resolution on the Continuity of Administrative Procedures of acts 17/2001 on trademarks, 20/2003 on Industrial Design Legal Protection and 24/2015 on patents (text here, in Spanish). The Resolution of 25 March 2020:
– publishes a list of procedures that the SPTO will proscute within the corresponding procedures of trademarks, industrial designs and patents, provided that the interested party gives his consent. The list of procedures has been extended by a Resolution by the Director of the SPTO issued on 13 May 2020 (text here, in Spanish).
– clarifies that the SPTO understand the consent as given when the interested parties submit a reply or carry out the corresponding procedure, either within the legal period authorised for that purpose or at a later time.
– remembers that, in any event, the interested parties may benefit from the general rule of suspension of time limits and wait for resuming them in order to comply with those procedures within the legally established deadlines. As said before, the resumption will take place on 1 June.
European Patent Office (EPO)
The European Patent Office (EPO) announced that periods expiring on or after 15 March 2020 are extended for all parties and their representatives to 2 June 2020. In case of non-observance of time limits, extensions may be requested as provided for under the European Patent Convention (Rule 134(5) EPC) and under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (Rule 82quater.1 PCT).
Electronic customer services available.
European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) extended all time limits expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April to 1 May 2020, that affect all parties before the Office, to 4 May 2020. In a second announcement, the Executive Director of the EUIPO extended until 18 May 2020 all time limits expiring between 1 May 2020 and 17 May 2020. After said date, the exceptional extensions granted to users have come to an end. However, in case users still face operational difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they can still obtain extensions by the regular means stipulated in the applicable Regulations (suspension of proceedings, extension of time limits in ex parte and inter partes proceedings, restitutio in integrum and continuation of proceedings)
Electronic customer services available.
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
The WIPO has reported that the International Bureau as receiving Office remain open for the purposes of filing and processing PCT applications.
Community Plan Variety Office (CPVO)
The CPVO has taken the decision to extend deadlines that fall in the period 17 March – 3 May included, until 4 May 2020 for parties to proceedings before the CPVO and the Board of Appeal. The extension applies to all deadlines except for the submission of material for technical examinations and the payment of examination fees.
The CPVO has taken the decision to extend to three months the time limit of one month from the date of which the CPVO serves a new request for payment of technical examination fees and annual fees. This decision applies to outstanding debit notes with a due date for payment until 21 September 2020, included.
Read announcement regarding the extensionof time limits for the payment of fees – Read the announcement (extensions until 4 May 2020)
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:
Customer relations: Tania Ashurka firstname.lastname@example.org