EPO hearings resuming
Update 10th May 2020
Operations at the EPO continue to be severely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, however as restrictions are gradually being lifted in a number of European countries, the EPO has announced that oral proceedings in opposition and appeal cases can again be expected to be held soon.
All EPO deadlines expiring between 15th March and 2nd June 2020 are automatically extended until 2nd June 2020.
With regard to upcoming oral proceedings, the EPO has informed as follows:
- Oral proceedings before Examining Divisions are being held by videoconferencing, unless in exceptional cases.
- The EPO intends to maintain oral proceedings scheduled to take place at the premises of the EPO on or after 2nd June 2020.
- The Boards of Appeal have announced that oral proceedings may take place by videoconferencing, and if the public health situation permits oral proceedings before at the premises of the EPO Boards of Appeal will resume on 18th May 2020. A number of measures are being implemented, and persons planning to attend an appeal hearing are well-advised checking the Boards of Appeal section on the EPO website regularly. A number of measures for safeguarding social distancing are being implemented; access to the EPO premises may be denied subject to each individual’s answers to a questionnaire to be completed upon arrival, and the use of face masks in the corridors of the EPO premises is mandatory.
The USPTO is waiving petition fees in certain situations for customers impacted by the coronavirus.
Deadlines in proceedings before the United States and Danish Patent and Trademark Offices will not be extended as a consequence of the Covid-19 outbreak. The DKPTO has, however, communicated that it is flexibly minded with respect to the granting of extensions of time.