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COVID-19: continuity of service and news from our IP Offices
(information updated on March 23, 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 strictly 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): The office has announced its intention to postpone time limits expiring on March 15th or later until April 17, 2020 (see the text published on March 15, 2020). In addition, the EPO has decided to postpone all oral procedures scheduled through April 17, 2020 until further notice, unless, in the context of examination or opposition proceedings, it has already been confirmed that the oral procedure will be held by videoconference.

o  European Union Itellectual Property Office (EUIPO): All deadlines before this office, including the priority deadline, opposition deadline, renewals, and deadlines for filing an appeal, are postponed until May 1st (i.e. May 4th, as May 1st is Labour Day). (see the decision of March 16, 2020 and additional information of March 19, 2020).

o  French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI)Specific measures have been implemented in a decision of March 16, 2020 (published March 19, 2020) extending time limits established in patent, trademark and design proceedings to four months, with the exception of time limits for opposition proceedings concerning trademark registration (for which an order is necessary; see the decision of March 16, 2020). In addition, the health crisis will be taken into account in the examination of requests for restoration or reinstatement of rights that have been lost in the event of non-compliance with a deadline or time limit.

o  As concerns the French courts, their activity is stricly limited to cases of "extreme urgency" since March 16, 2020. Regarding intellectual property matters, all hearings, for summary judgements, have been cancelled, with dates postponed, and decisions suspended. No dates will be issued for summons' and no infringement-seizures will be authorized. We will, of course, keep you informed as to when these measures will be lifted. 

o  World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO)With regard to international trademarks and international models, measures already exist in official texts, 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 and the notice for models). Regarding PCT applications, the International Bureau (IB) and the IB as receiving Office remain open for the purposes of filing and processing PCT applications (see the notice​), and to date we are not aware of any specific new provision from WIPO about time limits. As a reminder, provisions of the PCT can provide an excuse for delays  in meeting certain time limits in certain circumstances, and with the appropriate justification.

As a precaution, we are continuing to apply deadlines set in the normal way as a reference. We advise our clients to similarly continue working with this 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. 

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