Important information about COVID–19
Dear clients and colleagues,
Since it is still the most important thing is to minimize the risk of infection due to the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, we continue to avoid personal encounters as far as possible in order to not endanger your health and the health of our staff. We will also continue to monitor the situation and follow recommendations and instructions from the World Health Organization and the German government. Since we are fortunately still not experiencing any health-related absences, we are at your disposal without restriction until further notice, with the exception of personal meetings.
We would like to keep you informed about some important decisions that have been published by the authorities in response to developments in the pandemic situation (as at 20 November 2020):
The European Patent Office (EPO) in case of COVID–19 related disruptions draws attention to the legal remedies provided for under the EPC and under the PCT. Oral proceedings in examination are being held by videoconference by default. All oral proceedings in opposition proceedings scheduled until 31 December 2020 will be postponed. With effect from 4 January 2021, oral proceedings in opposition will be held by videoconference as well. Where there are serious reasons preventing the use of videoconference in opposition, oral proceedings will be postponed until after 15 September 2021. Oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal meanwhile take place at their premises in Haar and Munich without exception. Special hygiene measures apply. Oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal can also be conducted using videoconferencing technology if the parties concerned agree. More information and updates have been published at https://www.epo.org/news-events/covid–19.html.
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (GPTO) will take the current situation into account appropriately within the scope of legal possibilities when managing IP procedures. This applies in particular to granting requests for extension of time limits set by the GPTO. With regard to statutory time limits, reference is made to the possibility of re-establishment. In view of the rising number of corona cases the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) does not schedule hearings or oral proceedings. Hearings and oral proceedings to which summons have already been sent will take place if all parties involved agree. More information and updates have been published at https://www.dpma.de/english/our_office/publications/news/corona/index.html.
The European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) since 18 Mai 2020 grants extensions of officially set deadlines on request under certain conditions. More information and updates have been published at https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/covid–19-information.
Since our office did not suffer from any major restrictions we were always able to carry out necessary actions before the authorities within the originally set deadlines.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us as usual.