Contacting the Intellectual Property Office During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Contacting the Intellectual Property Office During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Our staff are equipped to work from home and are doing so to avoid unnecessary travel and social contact.

Coronavirus important update on IPO services

Following government advice on measures to tackle the spread of the Coronavirus, we have closed access to our buildings until further notice.

Our staff are equipped to work from home and are doing so to avoid unnecessary travel and social contact.

The majority of our services remain unaffected and the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will continue to operate as normal for customers apart from some areas set out below.

We ask all rights holders and IP professionals to continue to file as normal where possible. We recognise the current challenges faced by many and so in order to support businesses, rights holders and IP professionals we will be introducing the following service changes with immediate effect.

Interrupted days

Due to the unprecedented disruption and to support rights holders, businesses and IP professionals at this time we have decided to declare 24 March, and subsequent days until further notice, interrupted days.

This means that any deadlines for

  • patents,
  • supplementary protection certificates,
  • trade marks
  • designs,

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. To support rights holders, businesses and IP professionals plan ahead we will provide a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice before ending the interrupted days period.

We will review the situation in three weeks’ time (17 April 2020) and will either continue with the period of interruption or announce that the period will end after a further two weeks.

Our formal notice and certificate of declaration sets out the relevant information.

We encourage you 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.

Postal and paper services

We are currently unable to process paper forms, faxes and paper correspondence. No documents can be filed by hand at our offices.

Customers should use online services and communicate with us digitally whenever possible. This will give us the best chance of continuing to deliver our services.

We are able to accept electronic signatures on forms and other documents.

We have created a new email address for services that are not available online called paperformcontingency@ipo.gov.uk. This can be used instead of faxing or posting documents to us.

We are no longer processing documents through the fax service until further notice.

If customers file paperwork with us by post, these documents will not be processed until normal services are resumed and our sites re-open. At this point they will be given the date of receipt as a provisional filing date.

As previously confirmed we will extend time periods where national and international legislation allows. We will support affected customers using the discretionary powers available to us.

We will continue to update this page with any changes to services, as well as providing more details as they develop.

Further information on alterations to services for specific rights:

 

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