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COVID-19: continuity of service and news from our IP Offices


(information updated on June 5, 2020)

First and foremost we hope that you and your loved ones are well.

In order to ensure the safety of our employees and clients, REGIMBEAU is stricly following health recommendations, adapting our working conditions to these exceptional circumstances.

As such, we inform you that: 

  • We are fully organized to ensure the continuity of our activity, in particular via telecommuting and the secure digitization of our work procedures. 
  • For IP proceedings, we are in regular contact with national and European authorities as well as with our foreign correspondents and are following the measures taken by the offices of each country. 

o  European Patent Office (EPO) (see The Office has extended all time limits expiring on March 15th or later until June 2nd, 2020. For examination proceedings, the oral proceedings will continue to be held by videoconference, in accordance with the Decision of the President of the EPO dated April 1st, 2020. For opposition proceedings, the EPO has decided to postpone until further notice all oral procedures scheduled until September 14th, 2020 (previously: until June 2nd, 2020), unless the oral proceedings is held in the form of a videoconference and has already been confirmed or if the oral proceedings will be held in the form of a videoconference with the agreement of the parties as part of the pilot project (Article 2 of the Decision of the President of the EPO, dated April 12, 2020). For Appeals, the Boards of Appeal will resume from Monday 18th May 2020, to a limited extend, the holding of oral proceedings on their premises (the parties concerned will be contacted by notification). In order to allow an efficient organization of oral proceedings, the EPO requests the parties and their representatives to indicate to the registry as soon as possible whether they intend to participate to the oral proceedings. Furthermore, the EPO has announced the temporary suspension (during the period from 1 June to 31 August 2020) of the additional fee for belated payment of a renewal fee. This decision applies to European patent applications for which a renewal fee has expired on or after March 15, 2020 and has not been paid on the due date (Decision of the Administrative Council of May 28, 2020​).

o   European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) : « The extension of time limits period was ended by a communication from the EUIPO Executive Director​ issued on May 29, 2020. However, the time limits period set by the EUIPO in ongoing proceedings may be extended upon a motivated request submitted before the deadline , in particular in circumstances where the owner would not have been able to take a decision because of COVID 19.  Almost 21,000 trade mark applications are expected to be published in the near future to catch up with the Office's delay. »

o   French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) : the deadlines provides by the Intellectual Property Code (with the exception of those resulting from international agreements or European texts, that is mainly the prioroty period) occurring in the period between March 12 and June 23, 2020 included, benefit from an extension, which is no longer dependent on the state of emergeny. They have therefore been postponed to the following dates: or on July 23, 2020, if the initial deadline was one month (such as for example certain notifications of material irregularities regarding the formulation of products and services); or on August 24, 2020 if the initial deadline was two months or more (such as deadlines for opposition or response to opposition and the renewal times). 
(See the consolidated version -in French- of ordinance n°2020-306 of March 25, 2020, relating to the extension of expired deadlines during the health emergency period and the adaptation of procedures during this same period.). 

o   As for the functioning of the courts in France, these are only reserved for "absolute emergency" cases since March 16. In matters of intellectual property, all civil hearings, including summary proceedings, have been abolished, files returned, deliberations extended. No date for court will be granted, nor any counterfeit seizure authorized.

o ​ ​​World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) : Measures have been taken by the office, or already exist in official texts, with regard to international trademarks to facilitate appeals or extensions of time in the case of exceptional situations, office closures, disruption of postal services or mail routing (see the notice for trademarks; see the notice for designs​). Regarding PCT applications, the International Bureau (IB) as receiving Office remains open for the purpose of filing and processing PCT international applications (see the notice), and we have no news to date WIPO time-related measures. As a reminder, provisions of the PCT can make it possible to excuse the non compliance with certain time limits in certain circumstances, and with the appropriate justifications.

As a precaution, we are continuing to apply deadlines set in the normal way as a reference. We advise our clienst to similarly continue working with the reference whenever possible. We can, of course, rely on measures extending delays taken by the offices in particular circumstances. 

Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to your contacts at REGIMBEAU, preferably by e-mail to their usual address.​​​