suspensión de plazos

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With the fifth extension of the state of emergency and the gradual implementation of the de-escalation plan, Royal Decree 537/2020, of May 22, extending the state of emergency declared by Royal Decree 643/2020, of March 14 (the “Royal Decree”), sets a specific date for lifting the suspension of administrative and procedural deadlines as reported in this Blog.

In particular, articles 8 to 10 of the Royal Decree envisage:

  • From June 4, 2020, the suspension of procedural deadlines will be lifted;
  • From June 1, 2020, the administrative deadlines suspended will start running again, or they will  start running again if this was envisaged in any law approved during the state of emergency or its extensions; and
  • From June 4, 2020, the suspension of prescription and expiry deadlines of rights and actions will be lifted.

Despite the suspensions established in the Royal Decree being lifted, affected parties are advised to coordinate with the corresponding court representatives to learn the specific measures and periods that each court will adopt.

With regard to the processing and suspension of administrative proceedings on industrial property, we highlight the main developments below:

Spanish Patents and Trademarks Office (“OEPM”): On May 13, the General Director resolved to extend the list of processes that will continue to be processed by the OEPM in the framework of the corresponding proceedings, if the interested party gives its consent as stated in our previous post in this Blog. The list of processes added can be viewed here.

European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”): The period extension approved by the Executive Director of the EUIPO ended on May 18. Since that date, the EUIPO has published a note on managing time limits after the end of the extension (“Guidance Note on time limits after end of extension period”). The note essentially envisages some formulas to mitigate the effects of the rigorous application of the time limits based on the principle of strict adherence to deadlines, which will be available⁠—upon request⁠—to the parties to EUIPO proceedings.

Those mitigation formulas can include granting exceptional time extensions that must be requested before the deadline expires (for example, if the measures adopted by the public authorities against the pandemic cause difficulties or in case of illness of any of the parties or their representatives in the context of the COVID-19 crisis).

If a party to EUIPO trademarks proceedings misses a deadline, it may continue with the proceedings without offering an explanation or justification, provided that it requests it within two months of the deadline, performs the omitted action and pays a €400 fee. This option will not be available in case of proceedings related to designs and some processes such as requesting the “restitutio in integrum,” among others.

We will continue to report relevant deadline news.

Author: Claudia Morgado

This post is also available in: Español



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