As we are concerned about the health and well-being of our employees, associates and clients, our firm is strictly following the government recommendations, adapting our working conditions to these extraordinary circumstances. We have limited the number of persons present at our office to the necessary minimum but we remain fully operational while working online. Technological solutions are in place that give our employees safe remote access to our firm’s databases and electronic files and enable them to maintain effective communication and high quality of our services.
Taking the above into account, we would like to inform you as follows.
On March 31, 2020 the Polish Parliament adopted a special legislative act related to, among numerous other things, the deadlines / time-limits in various legal procedures, including the procedures before the Patent Office, for the duration of the current COVID-19 crisis.
Said legislative act entered into force with the effect as from March 31. According to that act, the procedural deadlines / time-limits in the court or administrative proceedings are withheld (if not started yet) or suspended (if already started) for the duration of the state of epidemiological threat or the state of epidemic (presently ongoing) declared because of COVID-19.
The same principle applies to certain deadlines / time-limits provided for by administrative law, such as those which need to be met by the party in order to be eligible for legal protection as well as other statutory time-limits the omission of which would result in negative consequences for the party.
Two specific categories of deadlines / time-limits are dealt with differently in the legislative act: the European patent validation / re-validation deadline and the trademark opposition deadline (both amounting to 3 months). Here, the law clearly stipulates that between March 8 and June 30 these deadlines / time-limits are withheld (if not started yet) or shall be treated as interrupted. This means that on July 1 they will restart and run anew.
What is important, all actions taken during the suspension / interruption of deadlines / time-limits shall be treated as valid and fully effective.
Irrespective of the above solutions, our firm is committed, to the extent possible, to provide its IP related services with no interruption and to meet all the official deadlines without any need of making use of said extraordinary measures. However, it is good to have them as a last resort option for us and our clients. Consequently, if possible, we recommend to take all actions within the regular deadline / time-limit, without relying on the above-mentioned extraordinary measures resulting from the situation caused by COVID-19.