Last Updated on 27 March 2020
All countries in the region undertook measures for ensuring the protection of public health due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Personal contact is limited to a minimum, and direct filings before the local IP offices are a rare option.
In North Macedonia, the parties, in practice, could communicate with the IP offices only via postal service. In Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia the communication via registered mail and electronic filing system is running smoothly.
The general situation with deadlines is that they are regularly running. However, in Albania, some postponements are possible, and the instructions are changing daily. In Slovenia, the issue with deadlines is regulated systematically. In essence, all deadlines expiring during the epidemic will be put on hold until the coronavirus outbreak is over, and they will expire 8 days as of the declaration of the termination of the epidemic. This solution is similar to the EUIPO’s approach, which decided to extend all-time limits expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020, to 4 May 2020. The EPO – all deadlines (including international applications) falling on or after 15 March 2020 are extended until 17 April 2020.
Finally, the WIPO cancelled all events scheduled for March and April, and all the essential work is performed remotely.