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Notice of 18 March 2020

concerning delays in IP procedures in view of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and their impact

As a rule, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office is able to continue to provide its services and to perform the patent, utility model, trade mark and design procedures by using the electronic means available to it.

However, many of our staff are affected by the restrictions currently imposed, such as quarantine measures, so that delays will affect all fields of work. In particular, this affects any paper-based mail and fax copies to be received and any paper-based mail to be sent by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, which our staff will, for the time being, not be able to process without delays because the presence of our staff at the office is reduced.

Please use our e-filing systems DPMAdirektPro and DPMAdirektWeb to file your IP applications and take any further actions related to the procedure – particularly with respect to national and international procedures subject to time limits. By using these e-filing options, you make sure that we receive everything you send.

There may also be delays in issuing certificates – particularly documents, register extracts, apostilles and certificates of origin – and in issuing priority documents. We recommend that you make your request for such certificates and documents as early as possible.
The dates of publication of the IP gazettes may be different from the scheduled dates.

With regard to all pending IP procedures, time limits granted by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office are extended, and no decision will be made because of the expiration of any time limit, until 4th May 2020. Separate notices concerning the extensions of time limits will not be issued. In addition, the time limits to be set by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office will be as generous as the situation requires.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office is not authorized to extend time limits provided for by law. In this respect, reference is made to the option of re-establishment of rights (see also Notice of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office of 3rd March 2020).

The below policies apply to hearings and oral proceedings:

  • Summons to appear in hearings or oral proceedings will no longer be issued, whether the proceedings are unilateral or multilateral.
  • Hearings and oral proceedings that have been scheduled will not take place until further notice and are cancelled ex officio. Cancellation ex officio will be notified in writing.

The immediate transfer of international design applications to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization cannot be guaranteed either. Therefore, we recommend that you file such applications directly with the WIPO.

Last updated: 20 October 2020 

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