29 April 2020

Changes to the UK Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO) services due to the impact of the Coronavirus crisis

As with all government departments, the IPO has taken measures to tackle the spread of Coronavirus and protect their staff.

Their offices were closed, back in March, and staff have been equipped to work from home.  For the most part services remain unaffected but there are some changes as detailed below:

Interrupted Days

It was acknowledged that the deadlines set, before the lockdown period started, may be difficult to meet, for example if businesses had shut or key contacts were furloughed.  The IPO therefore declared 24 March, and subsequent days until further notice, interrupted days.

The result of this was that deadlines falling within this period have been extended.

This situation has been reviewed regularly, with the last review taking place on 17 April and the next taking place on 7 May.

Postal and paper services

Due to office closures, the IPO currently is unable to accept any paper filings or faxes.  Where possible these should be submitted by email or online, if this is not possible a special email address has been set up for customers to use: paperformcontingency@ipo.gov.uk

The IPO is also unable to process anything sent by post, so anything sent in this way will not be dealt with until the offices reopen.

Likewise the IPO is unable to send anything out by post, so there will be a delay in rights owners receiving certificates, for example.

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About the Author
Emma Kirkpatrick, CITMA Paralegal & Trainee Trade Mark Attorney

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