The UKIPO has decided to declare 24 March, and subsequent days until further notice, interrupted days. An ‘interrupted day’ is a day in which the normal course of business at the IPO is not possible.
Following the UKIPO’s initial review on 17 April 2020, a further review was conducted on 7 May 2020 to provide updated guidelines and maintain the period of ‘interrupted days’ until the UKIPO’s next review on 28 May 2020.
This means that any deadlines for
•supplementary protection certificates;
and applications for these rights, which fall on an interrupted day will be extended until the IPO notifies the end of the interrupted days period.
The UKIPO has stated that it will give 2 weeks' notice before ending the interrupted days period.
Nonetheless, the IPO has encouraged customers to continue to work to existing deadlines if possible. Interrupted days have been introduced as a safety net where the normal course of business is not possible.
Hearings will operate online and via Skype and telephone and no physical hearings will be booked or take place until 1st June 2020 (subject to review).
The office is unable to process paper forms, faxes and paper correspondence and no documents can be filed by hand. The UKIPO has requested that all rights holders and IP professionals continue to file as normal using their online services and communicate digitally whenever possible. For services that are not available online, an email address has been set up called [email protected] which can be used instead of faxing or posting documents.
The UKIPO is no longer processing documents by fax and the posting out of documents and notifications has been suspended.
Further information on alterations to services for patents, trade marks and designs can be found on the IPO website.
Latest update 22.09.2020
Formal Notice - Interrupted Days
Certificate of Declaration
The information below only applies to the courts of England & Wales (apart from the UKSC).
Courts are operational, but with some restrictions. Evidence shows there is very little backlog or delay being experienced by users of the Business & Property Courts, including those who use the Commercial Court.
Judges will decide whether a hearing is necessary and if so, whether it will take place fully or partly remotely. Arrangements have been put in place to use telephone, video and other technology to continue as many hearings as possible remotely. Guidance from the courts is published when required. This way of working will continue during the third lockdown which is currently underway.
Any changes to individual hearings will be communicated directly to those affected, usually by email and/or phone.
The Supreme Court building closed on 23 March 2020 and is now conducting hearings entirely via video conferencing facilities. More information as to papers for filing, time limits, applications for extensions of time, orders and costs can be found on the Supreme Court website.
The High Court is covering work according to the High Court Contingency Plan and Court of Appeal Civil Division is covering work according to the RCJ Court of Appeal Civil urgent business priorities. More detailed guidance can be found on the HMCTS Operational Summary website page.
The coronavirus bill published by the Department of Health and Social Care expands the availability of video and audio link in court proceedings. Skype for Business and Cloud Video Platform are being used for remote hearings.
New Practice Directions have been introduced. PD 51Y deals with public access to court hearings that are conducted remotely. PD 51ZA dealt with the extension of time limits (enabling parties to agree to extensions of time, without applying to the court, of 56 days in certain circumstances). PD 51ZA has not been extended. It ceased to have effect on 30 October 2020.
Latest update 11.01.2021
HMCTS: Remote hearings during coronavirus outbreak
HMCTS: Guidance for court and tribunal users during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Supreme Court: Building closure
Supreme Court: Registry Update
HMCTS Daily Operational Summary
Supreme Court: Arrangements during the coronavirus pandemic
118th Practice Direction (PD) Update