March 17, 2020 - Spain

COVID-19: Spanish and European Union Intellectual Property Offices Announce Extension of Deadlines

Royal Decree No. 463/2020 declaring a state of alert in Spain to manage the COVID-19 public health crisis was published on March 14, 2020. Among other measures designed to respond to the outbreak and alleviate its consequences, all court and administrative time limits have been suspended for fifteen natural days (i.e. until March 29, 2020). This period, however, may be extended if necessary.

The mentioned administrative time limits include those relating to proceedings vis-à-vis the Spanish Patent and Trade Mark Office (SPTO). On March 16, 2020, the Director of the SPTO issued a statement clarifying the following:

  1. All proceedings managed by the SPTO will be suspended and interrupted for a period of fifteen natural days.

  2. The time limits specified in any automated notifications which the SPTO may issue during this time should be disregarded under (a) above, which takes precedence.

  3. Despite the suspension of time limits, the SPTO will continue to be fully operative electronically.  

  4. The SPTMO is currently studying whether to implement specific measures allowing certain proceedings to continue to run their course provided such measures:
  • prevent serious damage to the rights and interests of stakeholders and
  • the relevant stakeholders agree to those measures

  1. The prescription and limitation periods of any actions and rights enforceable vis-à-vis the SPTO are also suspended.

You may access the Decision of the Director of the SPTO here (in Spanish).

As concerns proceedings before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), all time limits expiring between 9 March 2020 and April 30, 2020 are extended until 4 May, 2020 (carried forward from May 1st, 2020, which is a national holiday) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision of the Executive Director of EUIPO, which enters into force today, may be accessed here.

Further information concerning the state of alert in Spain is available here.

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