Corona virus: deadlines vis-a-vis the NIPO
On March 13, the NIPO announced that in view of the Corona virus outbreak it will be possible to request an extension of some terms.
The terms in question are those set by the NIPO, such as response terms. An extension request will still have to be filed before the due date.
Terms set in the Patents Act, such as due dates for claiming priority, validation of a European patent, payment of fees etc., are not extendable.
In case a missed deadline leads to a loss of rights, it is still possible to request a restoration of rights. In its announcement, the NIPO stated that in such cases, it will be sufficient to file a short declaration to the effect that the non-compliance with the deadline was due to Covid19. The NIPO will in such cases grant restoration of rights without probing further into the matter. However, such requests must still be filed within the statutory term, which in most cases is 2 months from removal of the obstacle or 12 months from the due date, whichever comes first.