Due to the unprecedented restrictions currently in place, the Intellectual Property Office (the IPO) has declared that 24 March 2020, and all subsequent days until further notice, are “interrupted days”.
This means all IPO deadlines are currently on hold, including deadlines to renew trade mark registrations. However, we would advise against relying on this temporary extension of deadlines unless it is truly necessary.
Protect your business
Now more than ever it is important that you protect every aspect of your business. This includes ensuring that you maintain sufficient brand protection.
As we all know, this situation is only temporary, and once we are back to “business as usual” it is likely to be a particularly busy time for all companies. You do not want to find that in that busy period an extended deadline has inadvertently been missed or funds are not immediately available to pay renewal fees. This could result in your trade mark registration lapsing and your company finding itself without the registered trade marks it requires to protect its brand in a competitive post-coronavirus market.
Trade mark renewals being processed
Although the renewal deadlines are on hold, the IPO is still operating and processing renewal applications that it receives. As a result, we would advise that, where possible, businesses avoid the risk of losing their registration entirely and continue to renew their trade marks in line with existing deadlines.
However, in the event that this is simply not possible for your company at this time, the “interrupted days” period will act as a safety net for your business for the time being, and there is no need to apply for an extension.
For further information on the “interrupted days” period put in place by the IPO please see our coronavirus intellectual property applications and proceedings update. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions regarding trade mark applications or your IP rights.