Tuesday 20th April 2010: disruption to air traffic and courier services in Europe.
All flights in Europe have been suspended in the United Kingdom and in around twenty other European countries since late last week due to concerns about dust from the ongoing volcanic eruption in Iceland interfering with aircraft engines. It is anticipated that this situation may continue through this week since forecasts suggest that weather patterns will not clear the dust for some days at the earliest.
Some courier services are suspended completely and operators are simply stockpiling items until flights recommence. Others are using road and rail connections within Europe to replace normal air freight arrangements. This means that deliveries are, at best, taking much longer than is usually the case.
Where items have already been sent to us, we would suggest that you check with your courier service to establish whether delivery has been possible.
For new items, we would recommend using facsimile or email transmission, wherever possible, rather than courier services until further notice.
Intellectual Property Offices in Europe: As at 10:00 am today, none of the Intellectual Property Offices in Europe with which we deal routinely (UK IPO, EPO, OHIM and WIPO) has yet made any announcement suggesting that deadlines will be extended due to the difficulties mentioned above. We can expect the various Offices’ facsimile and electronic filing arrangements to be overloaded as users fax and email materials which would otherwise have been sent by courier.
In the circumstances, we ask that you let us have instructions and materials required to meet deadlines coming up in any of the Intellectual Property Offices mentioned above as soon as you are able to do so – so as to give us as much time as possible to transmit new applications and responses to objections to the Offices in question.
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking before any action in reliance on it.