The UK IPO's period of 'interrupted days', which resulted in the extension of most deadlines, ends today (29 July 2020). However, aware of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on applicants and proprietors of intellectual property rights, the government has introduced a new statutory instrument making temporary amendments to the patent, trademark and design fee rules.
As a result, several fees have been reduced or waived:
- fees for extensions of time will be zero;
- there will be no surcharge for payment of a patent application fee after the date of filing;
- fees to apply for reinstatement and restoration will be zero;
- for patents and designs, there will be no surcharge for late payment of a renewal fee;
- for trademarks, the surcharge for late payment of a renewal fee will be £1; and
- the late payment fee for renewal of a Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) will be reduced to zero.
These fee changes take effect from 30 July 2020 and will last until 31 March 2021.
While we would always advise IP owners to pay fees on time, these temporary fee arrangements will provide some much needed leeway for companies that are the feeling the effects of COVID-19 on their finances and future planning, especially with Brexit also on the horizon. In particular, it should enable companies to continue their UK filing and renewal strategies during this critical time for businesses based and operating in the UK.
If you have any queries about these temporary fee changes, or any concerns about your intellectual property portfolio or strategy in view of the disruption caused by COVID-19, please speak to your Novagraaf attorney, see our dedicated microsite or contact us below.