We would like you to know that all Offices of BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT are fully operational and we continue our work as always. You can contact us via phone, facsimile, postal service or e-mail, as usual. Instead of personal meetings, we can arrange conference calls or video conferences.
At Boehmert & Boehmert, we have instated policies to secure the operation of our firm and policies to ensure the safety of our employees. We can rely on an electronic file management system which allows our team to work from home.
Of course, we are closely monitoring all communication of the patent and trademark offices as well as courts in our jurisdiction. Regarding the potential extension of deadlines we would like to inform you as follows:
The European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a notice that all current deadlines in procedures before the EPO are extended to June 2, 2020 in view of the Corona Crisis. Furthermore, the EPO has postponed all oral proceedings scheduled until April 30, 2020, or, in case of the consent of the applicant, replaced them by a videoconference. New oral proceedings will generally be summoned as a videoconference, unless there are serious reasons for oral proceedings taking place as a personal meeting. Generally, the EPO itself continues to be operational and does not have any intention to close down its operations.
The German Patent and Trademark Office gave notice that they have extended all deadlines set by the Office until May 4, 2020 without further notification. Importantly, this does not apply to terms determined by law, such as, for example, priority deadlines. These terms will continue to apply as provided in the respective act and are not extended. The German Patent and Trademark Office will not summon for hearings or oral proceedings until June 30, 2020, both in ex parte and in inter partes proceedings. Hearings and oral proceedings scheduled for this time will not take place and will be cancelled by the Office.
The Federal Patent Court gave notice that it will resume its sessions to a limited extent, starting from May 4, 2020. Oral proceedings will take place subject to health protection measures. Amongst other things a self-certification as to a possible Covid-19 infection is required in order to be allowed into the court building. Differently from the German Patent and Trademark Office, pending deadlines will not automatically be extended. Extensions of term in procedures before the Federal Patent Court should therefore be applied for in the usual way.
In a first step, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) had published a decision of the Executive Director extending all deadlines between March 9, 2020 and April 30, 2020 inclusive, to May 1, 2020. With a further decision of April 29, 2020, EUIPO extended further all time limits expiring between May 1, 2020 and May 17, 2020 until May 18, 2020. From March 16, 2020, all EUIPO staff will work from home and the work of the Office will, as far as possible, proceed as usual. Trademark and design applications will continue to be examined and published and the Office will continue to send communications and set deadlines.
To serve the interest of our clients in a timely continuation of the pending procedures and in particular to avoid the delays with the Offices that are to be expected after May 18 and June 2, respectively, we do not intend to use the above-mentioned prolongations and are processing our cases on the basis of the current deadlines. Accordingly, please continue to send us your instructions in good time before the original deadline to keep things going.
Our attorneys handling your cases will be pleased to assist you in regard to any of your questions. You may also contact our firm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us hope that times will get back to normal soon and rest assured that we will do all that is possible to keep your and our business running.