IP Australia extends period for requesting extensions of time for deadlines which cannot be met due to COVID-19

New extended deadline of 31 July 2020 for requesting extensions of time at IP Australia when a deadline cannot be met due to COVID-19.

 

Initially, in April 2020, IP Australia announced that free extensions of time of up to three months could be requested until 31 May 2020 when a deadline could not be met due to the effects of COVID-19.  The deadline for requesting a free extension of time was subsequently extended until 30 June 2020.  We are pleased to report that this period has now been further extended until 31 July 2020.  Depending on the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in Australia and overseas, this period could be extended further.

IP Australia is providing a streamlined process for requesting an extension of time of up to three months when an IP Rights holder is unable to meet a deadline due to the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  No declaratory evidence or fee is required; all that is needed is to check the relevant box on IP Australia’s eServices system to declare that the deadline cannot be met due to disruptions from the pandemic.

Many deadlines for patents, trade marks and designs are covered by these streamlined extensions of time, including deadlines associated with oppositions and hearings processes (such as periods to file evidence).  However, there are some exceptions.  For example: these extensions of time do not apply to deadlines for payment of renewal fees for patents, trade mark and designs, for which the usual 6 month grace period applies.  For trade marks, these extensions are also unavailable for filing of divisional applications.

For more information, or if you have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and require assistance with your IP Rights, please contact us.