Das EUIPO ist bestrebt, seine Nutzer während der COVID-19-Pandemie sowohl hier in der EU als auch auf der ganzen Welt zu unterstützen. Das Amt bleibt weiterhin geöffnet für die Abwicklung der Geschäfte und wird nach wie vor Marken- und Geschmacksmusteranmeldungen entgegennehmen und bearbeiten. Es wird während der derzeitigen Situation so normal wie möglich weiterarbeiten.
Die Zusammenarbeit mit den nationalen und regionalen Ämtern für geistiges Eigentum der EU, den internationalen Partnern, Interessenträgern und anderen Partnern wird in der Zeit der Corona-Krise fortgesetzt.
21 May 2020
EUIPO’s Service Charter shows positive results in the first quarter 2020
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office has been able to comply with its timeliness, quality and accessibility commitments during the first quarter of 2020. Certain timeliness indicators have also improved during this period, namely the EU trade mark direct filings and registered Community designs registration. Only the timeliness in cancellation decisions still remains in ‘Actions Needed’
New timeliness indicator in recordals
The new EU trade mark and registered Community design timeliness indicator for recordals measures several types of recordals, like Change of name/Representative, Transfers (EUTM/RCD), Corrections (EUTM/RCD) and Seniority (EUTM). These recordals represent approximately 85 % of all the recordals the Office receives. As this indicator has been included in the Service Charter as from 2020, the previous figures have been calculated using 2020 parameters to illustrate the evolution.
What is the EUIPO’s Service Charter?
The Service Charter underpins all the Office’s quality activities and represents the EUIPO commitment to its users. The Service Charter sets out what users can expect from the Office in three core areas:
- Timeliness, or how long it takes to deliver a service;
- Accessibility, or how well and quickly the Office makes services available to users by phone, email and through e-business applications;
- Quality of decisions, or how EUIPO decisions measure up against agreed quality criteria.
15 May 2020
Update from the Executive Director of the EUIPO
The Executive Director of the EUIPO, Christian Archambeau, has released a video update on the current situation at the Office. Mr. Archambeau underlined today’s publication of the Guidance Note on the end of the extension of time limits, to assist users.
Mr. Archambeau also updated users on the Office’s successful use of videoconferencing during the current COVID-19 crisis, and confirmed that the first virtual Stakeholder Quality Assurance Panel meetings will begin next month.
EUIPO’s staff has been teleworking since 16 March, in accordance with the state of emergency declared by the Spanish government. Mr. Archambeau gave details on the first phase of the Office’s return plan, to be carried out in full compliance with health and safety advice.
15 May 2020
COVID-19: Time limits after end of extension period
The extensions began on 9 March, to support users during the COVID-19 pandemic, and covered all procedural deadlines, irrespective of whether they had been set by the Office or were stipulated in the Regulations. The extensions had automatic effect.
Although the scope of both Decisions ends on 18 May, the Office has provided users with further guidance on the regular means of coping with time limits stipulated in the applicable Regulations, in case they still face operational difficulties in view of the pandemic arising from measures taken by public authorities against the pandemic, or sickness of the party and / or their representative, etc.
For the information of users, a new Guidance Note has been published today.
The Note gives guidance on the following:
- Extension of time limits in ex parte and inter partes proceedings (Article 68 EUTMDR and Article 57 CDIR)
- Suspension of proceedings (Article 71 EUTMDR)
- Continuation of proceedings (Article 105 EUTMR)
- Restitutio in Integrum (Article 104 EUTMR and Article 67 CDR)
The EUIPO Guidelines, and the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal of EUIPO shall be interpreted in the light of this communication in so far as they relate to the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, on Tuesday 19 May at 11.00 CEST, the EUIPO Academy will live-stream a webinar to briefly explain the regular means of coping with time limits foreseen in the applicable Regulation (such as extension of time limits, suspension of proceedings or continuation of proceedings) in case parties before the Office still face difficulties in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The webinar will specifically highlight the conditions under which parties to the proceedings before the Office can obtain a second extension of their time limits under current Office practice.
15 May 2020
COVID-19 – Guidance Note on time limits after end of extension period
As a response to the exceptional circumstances created by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Executive Director of the EUIPO issued Decision No EX-20-3 and the consequent Decision No EX-20-4, both of which concern extension of time limits in proceedings before the Office.
As of 18 May 2020, those extensions come to an end. It is possible that some users may still face difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak. To provide them with further guidance on the usual means of dealing with time limits provided for in the applicable Regulations (EUTMR, EUTMDR, EUTMIR, CDR, CDIR), the following clarifications are issued.
Time limits are an essential tool for conducting orderly and reasonably swift proceedings. Compliance with them is necessary to ensure clarity and legal certainty. The procedural instruments listed below mitigate the rigorous application of the principle of strict observance of time limits and are available upon request by the parties of proceedings before the Office.
I. EXTENSION OF TIME LIMITS (Article 68 EUTMDR and Article 57 CDIR)
The time limits laid down directly by the Regulations are mandatory and cannot be extended at the request of the parties (although for some exceptions to this rule, please see section IV Restitutio In Integrum below). However, time limits determined by the Office in ongoing proceedings can be extended under certain circumstances. Upon receipt of a reasoned request, the Office may grant an extension of a time limit it has set. The request must be submitted by a party to the proceedings and before the time limit in question expires. An extension can be granted in:
- ex parte proceedings (i.e. where one party is involved, such as in the examination of the classification or absolute grounds for refusal of a European Union trade mark application). An extension may be granted upon request of the party, depending on the circumstances of the case. The extension cannot exceed six months for any given request. The first request for an extension will be considered appropriate without a detailed justification. However, this does not prevent parties from asking for an additional extension if exceptional circumstances warrant it.
- inter partes proceedings (i.e. where there are two or more parties involved, such as in opposition, invalidity and revocation proceedings). In these types of proceedings the first request for an extension will be considered appropriate without a detailed justification and will be granted for a period one to up to six months. Second and subsequent extensions of the same time limit, for a period of up to six months for each extension, can be granted if the party requesting it can explain the presence of exceptional circumstances that prevent it from observing the time limit. The Office may subject the extension of a time limit to the agreement of the other party.
Difficulties arising from measures taken by public authorities against the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 outbreak or instances of sickness of the party or its representative for the same reason do constitute exceptional circumstances that will be considered appropriate by the Office for granting second and subsequent extensions of the same time limit.
II. SUSPENSION OF PROCEEDINGS (Article 71 EUTMDR)
Where inter partes proceedings have been suspended, the proceedings are stayed, and no procedural steps are taken (except, where applicable, for the payment of fees). A suspension can be granted:
- At the reasoned request of one of the parties, where the suspension is appropriate under the circumstances of the case. Before granting the suspension, the Office will take into account the interest of all the parties and the stage of the proceedings.
- By joint request of the parties in:
- Trade mark proceedings, for periods which will not exceed six months. That suspension may be extended upon a request of both parties up to a total maximum of two years.
- Design invalidity proceedings, for periods of six months regardless of the period requested by the parties.
Furthermore, difficulties arising from measures taken by public authorities against the pandemic or instances of sickness of the party or its representative may constitute appropriate circumstances for requesting a suspension. In addition, financial difficulties preventing the party from obtaining or securing continued professional representation before the Office (within the meaning of Articles 119 and 120 EUTMR, and Articles 77 and 78 CDR)that are caused by the pandemic situation may also constitute a proper reason for granting a suspension.
III. CONTINUATION OF PROCEEDINGS (Article 105 EUTMR)
Any party in trade mark proceedings before the Office that has missed a time limit can seek continuation of proceedings, even without giving an explanation or justification. This is however not available in design proceedings. In order to exercise the right to continuation of proceedings, the party must:
- submit a request within two months of the expiry of the unobserved time limit;
- carry out the omitted act by the time the request is made; and
- pay a fee of (EUR 400).
Once a request for continuation of proceedings has been granted, the time limit is deemed to be observed and the consequences of having failed to meet the time limit will be deemed not to have occurred.
Continuation of proceedings may be requested, for instance, for all the time limits in opposition proceedings, other than the ones for filing an opposition and paying the applicable fee, such as the time limits under Article 146(7) EUTMR to translate the notice of opposition and under Article 10(2) EUTMDR for submitting proof of use, as well as all the time limits that apply in proceedings for revocation or declaration of invalidity.
Continuation of proceedings is not applicable to certain time limits, specified in Article 105(2) EUTMR, namely:
- the time limits for requesting restitutio in integrum and paying the fee (Article 104 EUTMR) and the time limits for continuation of proceedings itself (Article 105(1) EUTMR);
- the period of three months within which conversion must be requested and the conversion fee paid (Article 139 EUTMR);
- the time limit for filing an opposition and paying the fee (Article 46(1) and (3) EUTMR);
- the time limits laid down in Article 32 EUTMR (payment of the application fee), Article 34(1) EUTMR (right of priority), Article 38(1) EUTMR (right of exhibition priority), Article 41(2) EUTMR (period to remedy filing deficiencies), Article 53(3) EUTMR (period for renewal), Article 68 EUTMR (appeal) and Article 72(5) EUTMR (appeal before the Court of Justice); and
- the time limits for claiming, after the application has been filed, seniority within the meaning of Article 39 EUTMR.
IV. RESTITUTIO IN INTEGRUM (Article 104 EUTMR and Article 67 CDR)
The remedy of reinstatement of rights, also called restitutio in integrum, allows a party to proceedings before the Office to be reinstated in its rights, when:
- it has missed a time limit to perform a procedural act;
- the time limit was missed despite it taking all due care required by the circumstances; and
- the non-observance (of the time limit) by the party has the direct consequence of causing the loss of a right or means of redress.
In order to exercise the right torestitutio in integrum, the party must:
- submit a request within two months of the removal of the cause of non-compliance and no later than one year after expiry of the missed time limit. In this context:
- The date when the cause of non-compliance is removed is the first date on which the party knew or should have known about the facts that led to the non-observance of the time limit. If the ground for non-compliance was the absence or illness of the party or the professional representative dealing with the case, the date on which the cause of non-compliance is removed is the date on which the representative returns to work.
- However, if the omitted act is a request for renewal of an EU trade mark registration or a Community design, or payment of the renewal fees (Article 53(3) EUTMR and Article 13(3) CDR), the one-year time limit, specified above, starts on the day on which the protection ends (date of expiry), and not on the date the further six-month time limit (grace period) expires. Once the grace period expires the Office will inform the party about the expiry and the loss of rights.
- set out the facts justifying that they have taken all due care (required by the circumstances) to perform the omitted act and provide appropriate and proportionate evidence. The circumstances must be exceptional, namely circumstances that cannot be predicted from experience and are therefore unforeseeable and involuntary, such as natural disasters and general strikes. In this regard, failures to comply with time limits caused by operational difficulties arising from measures taken by public authorities against the pandemic or due to instances of sickness of the party or its representative may constitute exceptional circumstances in the above sense. Financial difficulties preventing the party from obtaining or securing continued professional representation before the Office or from paying fees payable to the Office when they were originally due that are caused by the pandemic situation (i.e. are due to objective circumstances that are beyond the sphere of influence of the party) and have resulted in the loss of right or means of redress may also constitute exceptional circumstances (unless otherwise provided for in the Regulations);
- carry out the omitted act within the abovementioned period (e.g. submit the observations for which the time limit was missed, pay the missing renewal fee and any surcharges); and
- pay a fee (EUR 200).
Granting restitutio in integrum has the retroactive legal effect that the time limit that was not met will be considered to have been observed, and that any loss of rights in the interim will be deemed never to have occurred.
Restitutio in integrum is available, for instance, when the party has missed one of the time limits, laid down in: Article 32 EUTMR (payment of the application fee), Article 34(1) EUTMR (right of priority), Article 38(1) EUTMR (right of exhibition priority), Article 41(2) EUTMR (period to remedy filing deficiencies), Article 53(3) EUTMR (the period for renewal) subject to the specific provision in Article 104(2) EUTMR, Article 68 EUTMR (appeal), Article 139 EUTMR (request for conversion into a national trade mark) and Article 39 EUTMR (the time limit for claiming seniority after the application has been filed).
Restitutio in integrum is not applicable to certain time limits specified in Article 104(5) EUTMR and Article 67(5) CDR, namely:
- the priority period, which is the six-month time limit for filing an application claiming the priority of a previous design or utility model application (Article 41(1) CDR);
- the time limit for filing an opposition and paying the opposition fee (Article 46(1) and (3) EUTMR);
- the time limits for restitutio in integrum itself (Article 104(2) EUTMR and Article 67(2) CDR);
- the time limit for requesting continuation of proceedings and paying the fee (Article 105(1) EUTMR);
- the two-month time limit to file an appeal against a decision of the Boards of Appeal before the General Court (Article 72(5) EUTMR).
As a general rule, a fee must be paid for each application for restitutio in integrum (i.e. one fee per individual right). Nevertheless, in certain cases exceptions may apply. The minimum conditions (all of which must be met) for applying these exceptions are the following:
- all the rights should relate to the same rights holder;
- all the rights should be of the same type (e.g. EUTMs, RCDs);
- the unobserved time limit should be the same for all rights (e.g. missed time limit for renewal);
- the loss of all rights concerned should be the result of the same circumstances.
If the abovementioned conditions are met, the application for restitutio in integrum relating to multiple rights can be subject to a single fee. For instance, when a party has missed renewing multiple EU trade mark registrations, it can file a single request for restitutio in integrum for the renewal of all of its marks and pay a single restitutio in integrum fee. Otherwise, an individual fee must be paid for each right concerned.
CONDITIONS FOR APPLICATION
The Office’s Guidelines for examination of European Union trade marks (Trade Mark Guidelines) and the Guidelines for examination of registered Community designs (Design Guidelines) are applicable to all the above listed time limit instruments. They will be interpreted in the light of this communication insofar as they relate to exceptional circumstances caused by the ongoing pandemic. The same applies to the Rules of Procedure of the Office’s Boards of Appeal. Further information is available for:
- extension of time limits at: Trade mark and Design guidelines, Means of communication, time limits; Trade mark and Design guidelines, Extension of time limits; Trade mark guidelines, Extension of time limits in opposition proceedings; Trade mark guidelines, Extension of the cooling-off period and Design guidelines, Extension of time limits.
- suspension of proceedings at: Trade mark guidelines, Opposition proceedings, Suspension; Trade mark guidelines, Friendly settlement; Trade mark guidelines, Cancellation, Proceedings, Suspensions and Design guidelines, Suspension.
- continuation of proceedings at: Trade mark and Design guidelines, Continuation of proceedings.
- restitutio in integrum at: Trade mark and Design guidelines, Restitutio in integrum.
- Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal at: Decision 2020-1 of 27 February 2020 of the Presidium of the Boards of Appeal.
06 May 2020
23rd Liaison Meeting – Online session on COVID-19 related Trade Marks
The EUIPO is hosting the first Online session of the 23rd Liaison Meeting on Trade Marks on 6 May 2020, for the first time through digital means.
The 23rd Liaison Meeting on Trade Marks was initially planned to take place in Alicante on 10-11 March. Due to the rapidly evolving spread of the COVID-19 through Europe, the Office decided to prioritise the health of its stakeholders, staff and providers above all other professional considerations. All meetings and events during the months of March, April and May have been postponed or virtualised, including the 23rd Liaison Meeting on Trade Marks.
This first online session of the 23rd Liaison Meeting on Trade Marks will be dedicated to an exchange of views on COVID-19 related trade mark applications.
30 April 2020
Update from the Executive Director of EUIPO
With the EUIPO now ending the sixth full week of near-universal teleworking, the Executive Director, Christian Archambeau, has released a video update on the current situation at the Office.
Mr. Archambeau gave details on the extension of time limits announced yesterday, to support the Office's users during this time. He revealed that output in the Office remained at normal levels and quality checks were being performed with good results.
Mr. Archambeau also underlined that meetings with stakeholders and users across the EU are still continuing, albeit in virtual format, and that work was intensifying to support SMEs.
Watch the video here:
29 April 2020
COVID-19: further extension of deadlines
The Executive Director of the EUIPO has today published Decision No EX-20-4, extending until 18 May 2020 all time limits expiring between 1 May 2020 and 17 May 2020., to further support and assist users during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the second extension of time limits with widespread application as a response to the exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic. Decision No EX-20-3, published on 16 March, extended until 1 May 2020 all time limits expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020.
In effect, all deadlines expiring between 9 March and 17 May are extended until 18 May.
The extension covers all procedural deadlines, irrespective of whether they have been set by the Office or are stipulated directly in the Regulations, and the effect is automatic.
The Office has prepared an information note giving full details of the scope of Decision No EX-20-4, which can be accessed below, along with the Decision:
|ACCESS DECISION NO EX-20-4||INFORMATION AND FURTHER GUIDANCE NOTE ON DECISION NO EX-20-4|
17 April 2020
International trade mark application or registration – E-mail for electronic communications
Due to the suspension of postal service in Switzerland caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has announced that is not able to send or receive communications by postal mail until further notice.
In order to facilitate electronic communications under the Madrid System with applicants, holders and representatives, WIPO has asked the EUIPO for access to e-mail addresses from applicants who have based their International Application on a European Union Trade Mark (EUTM). The EUIPO will contact relevant applicants regarding the e-mail addresses available in the User Area. For further information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
17 April 2020
Update from the Executive Director of EUIPO
The Executive Director of the EUIPO, Christian Archambeau, has released a video update for stakeholders and users on the situation at the Office as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The EUIPO moved to full teleworking five weeks ago, as a result of the state of emergency declared by the Spanish government.
Mr. Archambeau confirmed that, despite the current restrictions, production at the Office continues at almost normal levels, with work proceeding across EUIPO’s remit as usual. He highlighted that cooperation activities with the national and regional IP offices of the EU and stakeholders continue in virtual format.
The Executive Director added that the EUIPO is planning for an eventual return to its premises when conditions allow, while keeping the health and safety of staff to the forefront.
15 April 2020
DesignEuropa Awards: deadline extended
Due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the application and nomination period for the DesignEuropa Awards has been extended to 8 May 2020 inclusive.
The two categories open for applications and nominations are Small and Emerging Companies and Industry.
The Lifetime Achievement category is reserved for designers with a significant body of work, developed over the course of a career, who have had a demonstrable impact on the design profession. This category is nomination-only.
It’s quick and easy to apply and nominate, and it can be done entirely online.
The DesignEuropa Awards 2020 ceremony will be held in Eindhoven on 20 October, in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property.
The extension of the deadline for nominations and applications to 8 May 2020 supersedes the previous deadline set in the Rules of the DesignEuropa Awards.
3. April 2020
Aktuelle Informationen: Videobotschaft des Exekutivdirektors des EUIPO
Der Exekutivdirektor des EUIPO, Christian Archambeau, hat eine Videobotschaft veröffentlicht, in der Nutzer und Interessenträger über die Maßnahmen informiert werden, die das Amt ergriffen hat, um seine Arbeit während des Ausbruchs des Coronavirus und dem Ausnahmezustand in Spanien fortzusetzen.
19. März 2020
Aktuelle Informationen: Verlängerung der Fristen wegen COVID-19: betroffene Fristen, Art der Verlängerung und Mitteilungen an die Nutzer
Das Amt hat für seine Nutzer weitere Erläuterungen zum Beschluss Nr. EX-20-3 veröffentlicht, mit dem die Verlängerung der Fristen, die zwischen dem 9. März 2020 und dem 30. April 2020 ablaufen, aufgrund des Coronavirus-Ausbruchs festgelegt wurde. Diese Erläuterungen beziehen sich auf die betroffenen Fristen, die Art der Verlängerung, die Maßnahmen zur Anpassung der den Nutzern übermittelten Mitteilungen und die Auswirkungen auf laufende Konten.
16. März 2020
Aktuelle Informationen: Beschluss des Exekutivdirektors des EUIPO: Verlängerung der Fristen wegen COVID-19
Am 11. März 2020 gab der Generaldirektor der Weltgesundheitsorganisation bekannt, dass der Ausbruch der durch das Coronavirus ausgelösten Krankheit (COVID-19) als Pandemie eingestuft werden kann.
Der Ausbruch hat beträchtliche Auswirkungen auf die weltweite Kommunikation und stellt ein außergewöhnliches Ereignis dar, das die ordnungsgemäße Kommunikation zwischen den weltweit ansässigen Akteuren und dem Amt beeinträchtigt hat.
Aus diesem Grund hat der Exekutivdirektor des EUIPO heute (16. März) einen Beschluss unterzeichnet, mit dem alle Fristen, die in der Zeit zwischen dem 9. März 2020 und dem 30. April 2020 ablaufen und sämtliche Beteiligten vor dem Amt betreffen, bis zum 1. Mai 2020 verlängert werden. In der Praxis bedeutet dies, dass die Fristen bis Montag, den 4. Mai, verlängert werden, da Freitag, der 1. Mai, ein Feiertag ist.
16. März 2020
Aktuelle Informationen: Maßnahmen nach Verhängung des „Alarmzustands“ in Spanien
Am 14. März hat die spanische Regierung aufgrund der Ausbreitung von COVID-19 in ganz Spanien den „Alarmzustand“ verhängt. Zu den im Rahmen des Königlichen Dekrets 463/2020 angekündigten Maßnahmen gehört auch die Einschränkung der Bewegungsfreiheit, das heißt, Bürger und Einwohner Spaniens sollten das Haus nur unter ganz bestimmten Umständen, wie z. B. zum Einkaufen von Lebensmitteln und Medikamenten, verlassen.
Daher autorisierte der Exekutivdirektor des EUIPO am Wochenende die Aktivierung des Protokolls zur Aufrechterhaltung des Geschäftsbetriebs des Amtes. Dies hat zur Folge, dass ab Montag, dem 16. März, alle Mitarbeiter des EUIPO von zu Hause aus arbeiten werden. Damit sollen die Gesundheit und die Sicherheit der Mitarbeiter, der Interessenträger und der breiteren Bevölkerung geschützt werden.