On May 15, 2020, the Act of May 14, 2020 was signed by the President of the Republic of Poland and published, amending certain acts in the field of shielding activities in connection with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (so-called “shield 3.0”).
According to the newly adopted “shield”, the next stage of economy normalization will include the restoration of the normal running of time limits in cases before common and administrative courts as well as the Polish Patent Office. Dates whose running has been interrupted or suspended based on the “shield 2.0” of March 31, 2020 (Article 15zzr paragraph 1 or Article 15zzs paragraph 1) shall run as follows:
– time limits that have not started based on Article 15zzs paragraph 1 or Article 15zzr paragraph 1 of the Act of 31 March 2020, start running after 7 days from the date of entry into force of the “3.0 shield”, which means that the first day of the deadline will be May 24, 2020;
– time limits suspended according to Article 15zzr paragraph 1 or art. 15zzs paragraph 1 of the Act of March 31, 2020 continue to run after seven days from the date of entry into force of the “shield 3.0”, which means that these dates will run from May 24, 2020.
Hearings before the Adjudicating Colleges of the PPO will also be resumed. Hearings will be held with special precautions. Precautions include conducting hearings/meetings with the use of electronic means of communication, the use of which depends on technical capabilities.
It should be emphasized that the “shield 3.0” does not change the provisions of Article 31 j from the “shield 2.0”, which indicated that in the period from March 8, 2020 to June 30, 2020, the time limits do not start, and the started ones are interrupted in the following cases:
– opposition to the trademark application;
– submission to the Polish Patent Office of the translation of a European patent into Polish, as well as a translation into Polish of a limited or amended European patent.
Therefore, the norm in the light of which the deadlines in these cases run only (again) from July 1, 2020 remains valid. This does not change the fact that the actions taken before July 1, 2020 remain valid, and therefore – to avoid the accumulation of cases pending before the Polish Patent Office – we recommend taking all actions in initiated proceedings on an ongoing basis.
The suspended time limits also begin to run in proceedings pending before EUIPO. As of May 18, 2020, the deadlines were restored in all cases where the deadlines expired after March 9, 2020. However, EUIPO has in mind that some of the parties in proceedings may still face difficulties due to the CoVID-19 epidemic, which is why it published further guidelines and explanations on its website.
In EPO, official deadlines falling after March 15, 2020 are still suspended until June 2 this year.
The return to normal operations also applies to court proceedings in cases concerning infringements of intellectual property rights. Starting from May 25, 2020, the dates will be set in courts.
The multitude of provisions relating to the course of court and official cases may cause uncertainty as to the continuation of cases regarding the protection of intellectual property.
If necessary, JWP specialists will provide explanations and help determine the right course of action.
In case of any question we remain at your disposal.
Author: Helena Gajek