The European Patent Office has confirmed that all official deadlines at the European patent office expiring on or after March 15, 2020 are now extended until April 17, 2020.

European Patent Office Sign in Munich

Notice from the European patent office (EPO) dated 15 March 2020 concerning the instructions due to the Covid-19

According to paragraph 2 of the above EPO notice issued on 15 March 2020:

“2. As the state in which the European patent office is located in the Federal Republic of Germany, like many other contracting states, is experiencing restrictions on the movement and circulation persons, as well as on certain services, exchanges and public life in general, which can be qualified as a general dislocation within the meaning of Rule 134 (2) EPC. Periods expiring on or after the date of this notice are thus extended for all parties and 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."

Cancellation of all proceedings before the EPO

The EPO has decided to postpone until further notice all oral proceedings in examination and opposition proceedings scheduled until 27 March 2020 unless they have already been confirmed to take place by means of videoconferencing. During this time the EPO will explore options for further facilitating, where applicable, the use of videoconferencing in oral proceedings.

No oral proceedings in the EPO Boards of Appeal 16 – 27 March 2020

Oral proceedings will not be held in the premises of the Boards of Appeal from 16 March 2020 until 27 March 2020. Concerned parties will be contacted accordingly with a communication.
The Boards of Appeal will continue to issue written decisions, communications and summons to oral proceedings.

Article Published March 19th, 2020