The European Patent Office has published its latest guidance on disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TERMS AT THE EPO

The EPO has acknowledged the COVID-19 outbreak, by extending all periods expiring on or after March 15 2020 for all parties and their representatives to 17 April 2020. In accordance with Article 150(2) EPC this applies also for international applications under the PCT. The above period may be further extended by the publication of another notice if the dislocation extends beyond the aforementioned date.

As a safeguard in the case of non-observance of a time limit, said provision applies especially to cases of any applicants, parties to proceedings or their representatives affected by the disruption in the areas affected by the outbreak, i.e. at the moment:

  • Egypt
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • China: Hubei province (incl. the city of Wuhan)
  • Republic of Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do province (north Gyeongsang)
  • France: region of Grand Est (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
  • Austria: state of Tirol
  • Spain: Madrid
  • USA: states of California, Washington and New York
  • Germany: Landkreis Heinsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Please note that the definition of areas affected by the spread of the Coronavirus may be subject to change.

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