Over the last few months the normal operation of the UKIPO has been affected by the COVID pandemic, and the UKIPO had introduced a period of “interrupted days” during which most deadlines for patents, trade marks and designs have been extended. This period of interruption will end on 29 July 2020, and the UKIPO will resume normal operation from the beginning of 30 July 2020 (see document, here).

The period of interruption has provided useful breathing space for IP rights holders to delay some responses due at the UKIPO. However, it has also introduced some unwelcome delays for those who are in need of more prompt feedback. For example, trade marks have not been formally registered during this period. There will be a backlog of cases that the UKIPO will now have to clear, but one can nonetheless expect IP registrations and related procedures to resume at their normal pace over the coming weeks.  In addition, the UKIPO have announced some further temporary measures such as waiving of fees for certain extensions of time periods – their detailed announcment is here.

It is therefore a good time for businesses to review their IP portfolio for both existing and future IP rights. For technology companies, patents are often regarded as the key IP right to be considered. However, other registrable rights should not be overlooked. For instance, trade marks can be used to build a strong company brand and recognisable products. Effective management of trade secrets and monitoring of competitor activity should also not be neglected.

At Scintilla we are here to help you in identifying your registrable IP and make sure that you can benefit from it at an early stage. Our friendly team is here to guide you in the process whether you are considering patent, trade mark or design registration, or just want to learn more about IP via a (virtual!) cuppa. Reach out to us via hello[@]scintilla-ip[.]com or via LinkedIn.