COVID-19 IP Report



To help you to manage your IP portfolio effectively during this time, we’re closely monitoring updates from the Intellectual Property Office Network and sharing extended deadlines as they are published.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice, and that the position taken by IP offices is changing daily so professional advice should be taken before any reliance is placed on this information.


For more information, please contact Tom Gibb, or your local Murgitroyd office.

Dr Thomas Gibb

Managing Director, Legal Practice Group

Countries where Murgitroyd acts directly:

Statutory time limits were suspended between 16 March 2020 and 30 April 2020. This excluded the deadlines for payment of renewal and annuity fees and time limits due to EU law. For appeals, time limits that had not yet expired on 22 March 2020 began to run anew from 01 May 2020 (from the beginning).

All requests for the extension of a time limit will be considered as favourably as possible.

All deadlines (including for payments) that expire or will expire between 16 March and 24 June inclusive will expire on 25 June 2020. All deadlines currently running that expire on or after 25 June remain unchanged. All deadlines set from 25 May onwards will be for the usual period, even if the later expires before 25 June. As these deadlines will be set after the BAU date, no extension will apply. In cases where the deadline for filing an opposition against a trademark application expired or expires between 16 March and 24 June inclusive, an opposition may be filed until 25 June inclusive.

The EPO has decided to postpone until further notice all oral proceedings in opposition scheduled until 31 December 2020 that have not either already been confirmed to take place by videoconference or will be held by videoconference with the parties’ consent under the pilot project.

The Boards of Appeal have introduced a number of new measures, summarised here.

The exceptional extensions granted by the office ended on 18 May 2020.

The office will take into account the exceptional situation caused by coronavirus when considering deadline extensions fro trademark and design matters. A fee must be paid for each extension request.

All deadlines expiring between 12 March 2020 and 23 June 2020 are extended to 23 July 2020 if the initial period was one month. All deadlines expiring between 12 March 2020 and 23 June 2020 are extended to 23 August 2020 if the initial period was two months or more. This above applies to all deadlines provided for by the French intellectual property code, with the exception of those resulting from international agreements or European texts.

All deadlines in prosecution set by the GPTO were extended till 4 May 2020. Deadlines set by law cannot be extended by the Office. Re-establishment of rights requests are possible for such deadlines if it can be shown that the deadline was missed without any fault (vs. showing all due care under normal circumstances) on part of the person that missed the deadline. Scheduled hearings and oral proceedings are cancelled. According notifications will be sent for each case. No new hearings or oral proceedings will be summoned before 01 July 2020. It is not guaranteed that international design applications can be forwarded to the WIPO in the compulsory time limits such that the GPTO recommends to file them with WIPO directly. Generally, there is a delay in processing paper mail and telefax such that the GPTO recommends to file electronically. There will be a delay in issuing certificates such as priority documents. Therefore, these documents should be requested a early as possible.

The extension of deadlines ended on 02 June 2020.

Deadlines were suspended from 23 February to 15 May 2020. The suspension applied to the deadlines for opposition procedures relating to the registration of trademarks. The suspension did not apply to the deadlines for trademark appeals.

The Netherlands
The use of online filing for all documents is encouraged. Will consider the special circumstances of COVID-19 when considering restoration requests if a deadline is missed.

For patents, designs and trade marks, extensions of at least two months will be granted for people affected by COVID-19. Extensions are only available for deadlines set by the NIPO.
The extension must be requested before expiry of the original deadline. Where re-establishment is required, it will be sufficient to state briefly that not meeting the specific deadline was not deliberate, and that it was due to Covid-19. In such cases, the NIPO will then take this into account without any further questions.

Switzerland (and unitary Swiss-Liechtenstein patents)
Time limits set by the office with a specific end date between 21 March and 19 April 2020 expired on 20 April 2020. Time limits for the payment of renewal fees and annual fees with a specific end date between 21 March and 19 April 2020 also expired on 20 April 2020. Statutory time limits or those set by the IPI stipulated in days were suspended until 19 April 2020 and recommenced running on 20 April 2020. This also applies to time limits for appeals. For all procedures, the office will now grant an extension of two months for the first and second extension of the time limit. If important reasons are presented, the office will grant a third extension of an appropriate duration, without the agreement of any opposing party. These regulations also apply to the extension of time limits in opposition and cancellation procedures on the grounds of non-use of trade marks. Deadlines for payment not prescribed by law will only be extended for important reasons.

The 29th of July was the last of the interrupted days at the UKIPO. As such, any deadlines that would have normally expired during the interrupted period expired on 30th of July.

Denmark, Luxembourg, Monaco, Sweden, Liechtenstein (for standalone designs and trademarks)
No change for now

Other Countries: Please visit WIPO’s website for the latest updates on the IP Offices in the rest of the world.

A message from our CEO

The spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a dramatic impact on the lives of people and businesses across the globe. During this time of concern, Murgitroyd remains focused on protecting the health and well-being of our employees, while continuing to provide the highest levels of service to our clients.


For the last 10 years, Murgitroyd has established flexible working practices across our global office network. This initiative that has included extensive home-working experience by our Attorneys and support staff.

Our tried and tested IT infrastructure enables our colleagues to provide the highest levels of seamless service delivery on a remote basis.

We feel fortunate to have this wealth of remote working experience to call upon as it will greatly aid our business continuity plans as well as the ongoing management of our client’s IP needs.

To this end, Murgitroyd has decided to, among other actions, reduce its business travel, hold more external meetings by video-conference, and postpone selected meetings and events. We want our team to be available to serve your needs, whenever and however they arise.

We remain focused on providing you with the excellent service and support you have come to expect, and we thank Clients, Partners and Colleagues for their continued loyalty. We firmly believe the strength of our relationship will ensure we successfully navigate these unprecedented times together.


Gordon Stark

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