Last update: 26 May
Dear clients, colleagues and friends,
The Spanish government, by means of the Royal Decree published in the Official State Gazette of Saturday, 14 March, declared a state of alarm throughout Spain, for a period of 15 days. This declaration, which has been subject to successive extensions, including the most recent extension of 24 April, is aimed at protecting the health and safety of citizens, containing the spread of COVID-19 and bolstering the public health system. We wish to advise as follows in relation to the government’s declaration:
1. As we have already informed you, in the past few weeks we have suffered the loss of our President, Alberto de Elzaburu. The rest of ELZABURU’s workforce, professionals, technical specialists and administrative staff, are almost all in good health.
2. As part of the contingency plans designed by the firm, all of our staff are continuing to work remotely from home, thanks to the implementation, some time ago, of virtual desktops, making it possible to work remotely with full access to our databases for the handling of case files. Additional systems have been implemented so that telephone calls can be handled. We are thus able to guarantee full operational capacity, with the usual efficiency, security and quality. We recommend reading the 7th Statement “The Spanish courts are to resume their activities“, in particular paragraph 6.
Following the successive extensions of the state of the alarm declared by the Spanish government, administrative time limits, that is, those relating to procedures before the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO), remain suspended until at least 10 May. The SPTO and its online services continue to operate as normal. Where possible, ELZABURU recommends meeting deadlines and not delaying the filing of applications or other procedures. We recommend reading the 7th Statement “The Spanish courts are to resume their activities“.
Time limits and deadlines in court proceedings in Spain have likewise been suspended, although we recommend reading the Statement we have prepared in this regard. Access the 7th Statement “The Spanish courts are to resume their activities“.
Moreover, in line with the extension of the state of alarm, the EUIPO has issued a new Decision, No. EX-20-4, according to which deadlines are automatically extended until 18 May. Nevertheless, the EUIPO is fully operational and, therefore, time limits and deadlines can be met as normal. Where possible, ELZABURU recommends not delaying the filing of trademark applications, given that the EUIPO’s Decision does not affect the filing date of applications or their priority. The EUIPO has not agreed any further extensions of deadlines. You can read here the decision rendered in this regard.
6. The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that all deadlines expiring from 15 March 2020 are extended until 4 May 2020. The extension applies to all parties and their representatives in EPC and PCT proceedings. If the disruption continues beyond 4 May 2020, the EPO may publish another notice informing users of further extensions of time limits.
7. We are all sure that the solidarity of Spanish society and the rest of the world, together with the responsibility of the authorities, will make it possible to return to normality soon.
We wish to take this opportunity to convey to our clients, friends and colleagues, a message of solidarity and hope, in the confidence that in a few weeks the worst of the crisis will be over. United we will soon overcome this crisis bearing in mind that, in the vast majority of cases, the symptoms will be mild. Let us therefore look out for the most vulnerable.
We will continue to keep you informed through our website and on social media of the news that we consider may be of interest to you.
Our warm regards and thanks for the efforts and solidarity of everyone,
The team at Elzaburu