The Director General of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) also issued a Communication on time limits on 20 March 2020. This Communication replaces another Communication published on 16 March 2020. As a result of the new Communication, all time limits expiring after 15 March 2020 were temporarily suspended until further notice. A new Communication was published on 25 May 2020, setting 25 May 2020 as the end of the period during which deadlines were extended. An additional period of one month, counted from 25 May 2020, has been given for all requests and procedures for which deadlines have expired between 16 March 2020 and 25 May 2020, or for which deadlines are less than month on 25 May 2020. Concretely, this means that:
- all deadlines (including for payments) that expire or will expire between 16 March and 24 June inclusive will expire on 25 June 2020.
- All deadlines currently running that expire on or after 25 June remain unchanged.
BOIP has clarified the implications of those Communications on its website.
The new deadlines will not be communicated to the parties individually for all requests and procedures.
The suspension does not apply to the time limits for appealing BOIP’s decisions to the Benelux Court of Justice!
BOIP will continue to operate, but with a reduced staffing level. BOIP’s premises are also closed to visitors. Nevertheless, it remains possible to file Benelux trade mark and design applications. All such applications will continue to be examined and published, and BOIP will continue to send communications and set deadlines. Online services will also remain available.
Do not hesitate to contact Olivier Vrins for further information.
The above information is merely intended as comment on relevant issues of Belgian law and is not intended as legal advice. Before taking action or relying on the comments and the information given, please seek specific advice on the matters that are of concern to you.