FAQ – Extension of current deadlines & BAU date

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the extension of current deadlines, which is one of the measures taken by BOIP to mitigate against the spread of the coronavirus.

We have grouped the questions by subject. How the BAU (Business-As-Usual) date applies has been addressed here from various angles. If your question is not on the list, please contact our Information Centre.

My question relates to...

Applications

1. I have been given until 1 April to respond to the classification of my trademark. Until when may I now respond?

You may respond up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

2. I have been given until 15 May to pay the fees for my trademark/design application and so to maintain the date that applies to it. Do I still have time to do so?

You may do so up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

3. I have been given until 1 April to respond to a request to regularise regarding my design. Until when may I respond?

You may do so up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

4. Does the BAU scheme affect filing dates and priority dates?

No, the scheme has no impact on those dates. You may still claim priority for Benelux applications filed between 16 March and 24 June 2020. You may still do so within one month of filing.  However, the one-month deadline can be extended to expire on 25 June.

Renewals

1. I should have renewed my trademark/design by 15 April. May I still do so?

You may do so up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

2. The validity of my trademark registration has expired, but I had the option of extending my trademark registration (period of grace) until 20 April. May I still do so?

You may do so up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.
Since we have to intervene here manually, please contact our Information Centre.

3. I want to renew my trademark or design registration. The expiry date was 5 April. When submitting my request, the system says that I have to pay a penalty (a surcharge for late submission), because the expiry date has passed. Is that right?

The system does indeed automatically announce a late fee. However, this surcharge does not in fact apply, as the expiry date fell in the period for which a general extension has been granted. All deadlines that were to expire during that period have been extended until 25 June. In order to extend your trademark or design registration, you are indeed obliged to pay the surcharge stipulated by the system. Your payment will then be refunded to you. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Modifications

1. I have been given until 1 April to respond to regularization of a modification I submitted regarding my trademark/design (e.g. transfer, change of holder's name). What is the deadline for responding?

You may do so up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

Refusal

1. I have received a provisional refusal of my application and have been given until 20 April to object. May I still do so?

You may do so up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

Opposition

1. I have received notice that an opposition has been filed against my trademark. Previously, I had received a message that my trademark had been registered and that opposition was no longer possible. How can an opposition have been filed now?

If your application was published between 14 January and 24 April 2020, oppositions may now be filed until 25 June inclusive. In the case of such trademark applications, the deadline for filing opposition was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

2. My trademark was recently registered and the opposition period expired on 20 May. I understand that oppositions may now be filed against it until 25 June. From when can I be certain that that it can no longer be opposed?

We will have entered all oppositions by 9 July. If your trademark still has the status "registered" in the Trademarks Register on 9 July, you can assume that opposition is no longer possible.

3. I would like to file an opposition against trademark X. It appears in the Trademarks Register as “registered” and the period for opposition expired on 1 April. Can I still file an opposition?

You may do so up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

4. I would like to file an opposition against trademark X. It appears in the Trademarks Register as “registered”. As it was published on 1 March, the opposition period has been extended. Is that right?

Yes, that's right. The opposition period was to expire two months after publication, i.e. on 1 May. That falls in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

5. I would like to file an opposition against trademark X. It appears in the Trademarks Register as “registered”. However, as it was published on 27 February, the opposition period has been extended until 25 June inclusive. When I try to file, the system states that it is no longer possible to file an opposition. Is that right?

When filing an opposition online, the system freezes if the trademark has “registered” status in the Trademarks Register. Given that the opposition period for the trademark was to expire on 27 April, it has been extended until 25 June inclusive. In this case, it is therefore not correct that the trademark has “registered” status. You have the option of filing opposition against it until 25 June inclusive.

You can do so as follows: when filing the opposition online, using "Add manually", specify which trademark you are opposing. So, do not select “Import”, but rather fill in trademark, trademark number and filing date using “Add manually”, but leave the field for the publication date empty. If you do fill in the "Publication date" field, the system will freeze because it calculates that the opposition is too late.

6. I had to submit arguments/evidence of use in opposition proceedings by 20 March. Do I still have time to do so?

You may do so up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

7. The cooling-off period expired on 19 April 2020 in opposition proceedings in which I am a party. Can that period be extended?

Yes, please state in writing that you would like the period to be extended. The cooling-off period expired in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during that period may be extended until 25 June inclusive.

8. The cooling-off period in my opposition proceedings expired on 6 April. On 14 April, I received a letter from BOIP stating that the opposition proceedings had commenced and that I had until 14 June 2020 to submit arguments.

a) Is it true that the cooling-off period has expired?

Yes, but the cooling-off period expired during the period for which a general extension was granted. Any deadlines that expired during that period may still be extended until 25 June inclusive if so requested in writing.

8. b)    Should I consider this letter from BOIP to have been sent in error in light of the DG Communication of 20 March?

Yes, if you have expressed in writing that you wished to avail of the option to extend the deadline, you can consider the letter to have been sent in error.

8. c)    Is the 14 June deadline invalid?

Yes, that deadline no longer applies in the event that you have availed of the option to extend the deadline.

Cancellation

1. I had to submit arguments/evidence of use in cancellation proceedings by 31 March. Do I still have time to do so?

You may do so up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.

Trademarks Register

1. I see in the Trademarks Register that trademark X has recently been registered. Does this mean that I can no longer oppose it?

It may still be possible to do so. If the opposition period expired between 16 March and 25 June, i.e. if trademark X was published between 14 January and 25 April, the opposition period was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive. From 9 July onwards, you can be sure that opposition can no longer be filed against a trademark with “registered” status.

2. My trademark was recently registered, but the opposition period expired on 20 May. I understand that it will still be possible to oppose it until 25 June. From when can I be certain that it can no longer be opposed?

We will have entered all oppositions by 9 July. If your trademark still has the status "Registered" in the Trademarks Register on 9 July, you can assume that opposition is no longer possible.

i-DEPOT

1. The storage period of my i-DEPOT expired on 15 April. Can I still extend it?

You may do so up to 25 June 2020 inclusive. Your deadline was to expire in the period for which a general extension was granted. All deadlines that were to expire during this period have been extended until 25 June inclusive.
Online you can extend the storage period up to two months after the expiry date. After that time, but before June 25th, we have to do this manually. To do so, please contact our Information Centre.

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