On 18 March 2020, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (“DPMA”) has announced the extensions for all time limits granted by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office regarding all pending IP procedures. This extension shall be granted ex officio until 4 May 2020. Until then, no decision shall be made due to the expiration of any time limit.

According to the DPMA, no separate notices in regard to the announced extension of time limits will be issued. This extension shall not apply to time limits for applications for international registrations of marks or requests for subsequent designation under the Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the international registration of marks (PMMA). Further, the DPMA it is not authorized to extend time limits provided for by law.

The DPMA acknowledged that the spread of the corona virus and the corona virus disease (COVID-19) has led to nationwide restrictions on public life, also affecting the accessibility of the DPMA and its usual conduct of business. Therefore it has ex officio cancelled all scheduled hearings and oral proceedings and will no longer issue any summons to appear in hearings or oral proceedings until further notice. Also, time limits to be set by the DPMA shall be generous “as the situation requires”.

Further details are provided on the DPMA website.

Besides, the United States Patent Office (USPTO) has also announced extensions for certain fees and deadlines during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on 31 March 2020. The announcement was addressed by our colleagues on Mayer Brown’s COVID-19 Blog.