Because of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, since 24 March 2020 the UK IPO has treated every day as an “interrupted day” as far as deadlines are concerned. This applies to UK applications and registrations for:
- supplementary protection certificates,
- trade marks,
It also applies to deadlines in proceedings relating to these rights, such as oppositions and invalidity actions.
An ‘interrupted day’ is a day in which the normal course of business at the IPO is not possible. Any deadline which falls on an “interrupted day” will automatically roll over until the next day of normal service. This has meant that almost all deadlines set by the UK IPO which have fallen due since 24 March 2020 have automatically rolled over without any action being necessary by the party to whom the deadline applies. Of course, it has still been possible to file a response in time to meet the set deadline, but there has been no penalty for failing to do so.
The UK IPO has regularly reviewed the position regarding “interrupted days” in line with Government advice. On 22 June 2020 the UK IPO declared that the period of “interrupted days” will end on 29 July 2020. This will mean that the first day of normal operation will be Thursday 30 July 2020. All of the earlier deadlines which have not been met and have automatically been rolled over will expire on that date.
We would encourage anyone with a set deadline which officially falls on or before 30 July 2020 to respond before this date if possible, as there is likely to be a large number of “last minute” filings to meet this deadline.
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 any action in reliance on it.