Intellectual Property: IPO extends interrupted days provision

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) had today updated its guidance for trade mark applications and obligations in respect of continued Covid-19 disruption.

The new direction comes after the regulator imposed an extended period of interruption for intellectual property deadlines.

During this period – introduced on 24 March 2020 until further notice – any deadlines for patents, supplementary protection certificates, trade marks, designs, and applications for these rights which fall on an interrupted day will be extended to the next non-interrupted day.

Under the new guidance, however, you “must make priority applications for trade marks and designs within the six month priority window”.

This is because the interrupted days provision “does not apply to these filings (because the provision only relates to time periods prescribed in the Rules)”.

Additionally, all new trade mark examination reports will be allocated a four-month default period to respond. The IPO says this will “hopefully remove the need for an extension”. Interrupted days still apply to deadlines that fall during the period of interruption, however.

The new guidance also provides direction on communicating with the IPO, trade marks journal publishing, registration and certification, and international designations and applications.

For more information about the interrupted period and how it will affect your application, please click here.

Seamus Smyth, Partner at Carter Lemon Camerons, said: “Whereas this is an example of certain time limits being extended, be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that all time limits and deadlines are extended for all purposes.

“Many are undisturbed.  If in the slightest doubt, seek advice!”

For intellectual property support, please get in touch with our expert team today.