International Protection of Registered Designs

Update to Interrupted Days
The Intellectual Property Office has decided to bring the interrupted days period to an end on 29 July 2020. The first day of operation when all interrupted days deadlines will expire will be Thursday 30 July.
*An interrupted day is a day in which the normal course of business at the IPO is not possible.

The UK IPO is working to put in place measures that will ease burdens on business following the end of the period of interruption. This includes seeking Parliamentary approval to enable the temporary removal of fees for requests of extensions.

Interrupted Days

Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK, the Intellectual Patent Office has declared 24 March, and subsequent days until further notice, interrupted days.

What does this mean for your IP rights?
The declaration of interrupted days means that many 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.
To help rights holders, the UK Patent Office will provide a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice before ending the interrupted days period.
What does it apply to?
This applies to all time periods set out in the various relevant UK Acts and Rules, and to all non-statutory periods that have been specified by staff.
What does it not apply to?
This does not apply to time periods set out under the various international IP treaties e.g. the Patent Cooperation Treaty, European Patent Convention, or the Madrid system, where the Office may be acting as a Receiving Office.
The most notable exceptions are any deadline for filing priority claiming Design, Patent or Trade Mark Applications – these deadlines must not be missed,
This period of interruption does not affect filing dates of IP applications which are filed at the Office and do not claim priority from a previous application. These will be assigned a filing date under the usual rules.
Why is this action being taken?
The UK IPO is taking this action owing to the disruption to applicants’ businesses and its ability to receive and send post by the current coronavirus pandemic. It is consistent with action taken by other intellectual property offices such as the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
The next update will be on 22nd June and at least 2 weeks’ advance notice will be given to plan prior to the end of interrupted days.

If you would like any clarification, please contact us by email or phone.