On the 27th of March 2020, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) announced that the 24th of March and "subsequent days until further notice" had been declared "interrupted days" due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that any deadlines for patents, supplementary protection certificates, trade marks, designs, and applications for these rights, would be extended until the end of the period of interrupted days. The original publication also indicated that the situation – and whether or not the period of interrupted days would be extended – was to be reviewed on 17 April 2020.

Today, in keeping with the UK government's earlier decision to extend the period of general lockdown, the UKIPO have published a further update indicating that the period of interrupted days will be extended until 7 May 2020. At that point, once again, the situation will be reviewed and the period will either be further extended, or an announcement will be made indicating that the period of interrupted days will end after a further period of two weeks.

This announcement effectively pushes all the previously impacted UK IP-related deadlines back until at least 21 May 2020. In the meantime, IP rights owners are encouraged to carry on as normal and meet any original deadlines (insofar as possible) in order to avoid a surge of work and further delays once the period of interrupted days ends.

The offices for Marks & Clerk have transitioned to working from home and we are able to deliver our full range of services to our clients. Please contact your local office or attorney directly, should you wish to arrange for a telephone or video conference regarding your IP rights.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.