Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Intellectual property and coronavirus

In this section you'll find information and updates related to coronavirus that are relevant to the law on intellectual property.

The UK's response to coronavirus is changing regularly and often very quickly. While we'll continue to make every effort to keep this page up to date, there may be short periods where what you read here is not the latest information available. Where possible we've tried to provide links to official sources, so you can check the current situation.

Timescale changes

The IPO has declared that, until further notice, all days from 24 March 2020 onwards will be considered 'interrupted days'.

This means that any deadlines that fall on an interrupted day will be extended until the IPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period. This includes:

  • Patents
  • Supplementary protection certificates
  • Trade marks and designs, and
  • Applications for these rights.

The IPO will provide a minimum of 2 weeks' notice before ending the interrupted days period.

This applies to all time periods set out in the various relevant UK Acts and rules, and to all non-statutory periods that have been specified by staff.

It does not apply to time periods set out under the various international IP treaties, e.g. the Patent Cooperation Treaty, European Patent Convention, or the Madrid system.

This period of interruption does not affect filing dates of IP applications that are filed at the IPO and do not claim priority from a previous application. These will be assigned a filing date under the usual rules.

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has also published information on the measures they're taking.

Copyright © 2020 Epoq Group Ltd. All trademarks acknowledged, all rights reserved

This website is operated by Epoq Legal Ltd, company number 3707955, whose registered office is at 2 Imperial Place, Maxwell Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 1JN. Epoq Legal Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 645296).