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UKIPO COVID-19 interruption and selected official fee suspension

UKIPO COVID-19 interruption and selected official fee suspension

03/07/20

Last month the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) announced that the period of “interrupted days” – a measure introduced to account for the uncertainty facing applicants at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic – would end on 29 July 2020. Therefore, most deadlines that would originally have fallen due in this “interrupted” period are extended to 30 July 2020.

Although the period of “interrupted days” (and thus, the ‘blanket’ extension of deadlines) will end on 29 July 2020, the UKIPO will still assess requests for discretionary extensions of time favourably, on a case-by-case basis. This is intended to provide support to applicants that are still experiencing difficulties as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

New Measures

The UKIPO has acknowledged that many businesses are still experiencing financial difficulties caused by the pandemic, and so a number of temporary fee changes have now been introduced to provide support to these businesses.

The UKIPO has announced that temporary fee changes will be in effect from 30 July 2020 to 31 March 2021, in respect of patent, trade mark and registered design applications.

Firstly, there will be no fee for requesting extensions of time at the UKIPO. This includes requesting an extension to the ‘compliance date’ of a patent application and requesting an extension of time in a trade mark application (both pre-emptive and retrospective).

Additionally, there will be no surcharge for payment of a patent application fee after the date of filing.

There will be no fee for applying for restoration or reinstatement of a patent application, restoration of a trade mark registration, or restoration of a registered design.

For patents and registered designs, there will be no surcharge for late payment of a renewal fee. For trade marks, the fee will be reduced to £1 (since a fee is required by the Trade Marks Act). However, please note that there will be no change to the renewal fee amount for patents, designs or trade marks.

In respect of supplementary protection certificates (SPCs), whilst there is no change to the annual fee, there will be no additional fee for late payment.

A full list of the affected fees can be found here.

If you require any further information regarding these temporary fee changes, then please get in touch with your usual contact at WP Thompson.