Informative Note: Temporary Suspension of In-person Services at PONS IP
After the entry into force of the Royal Decree (RD) that declared the State of Alarm throughout the national territory to combat COVID-19, and following the health and safety recommendations decreed by the Spanish Government, we inform you that PONS IP temporarily suspends in-person customer service at our offices located at Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Seville, Valencia, and Vitoria until the current situation is resolved.
However, and in accordance with our Contingency Plan, 100% of our staff is working remotely and we are able to ensure complete availability of all our services.
At PONS IP we remain at your disposal as usual through the available remote service channels, such as our customer service phone number 91 700 76 00, the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact your regular adviser directly through their dedicated communication channel.
We wish to inform you that the current situation of the main Registration Offices is relatively normal. Each one is taking measures to ensure continuous service, examining and publishing applications for trademarks, patents, and industrial designs:
- Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO): In-person services will be unavailable as the Office will remain closed to the public. However, telephone and electronic customer services for registration procedures will be offered.
- European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO): All deadlines for procedures concerning Union trademarks and Community designs expiring between 9 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 inclusive are extended to 1 May 2020.
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): Regular services through electronic means are confirmed. Expiration dates are not extended.
- European Patent Office (EPO): Regular customer services will be offered through electronic means and pending procedures deadlines will be extended until April 17, 2020, due to the exceptional circumstances arising from the state of alarm for the COVID-19.
Furthermore, you can rest assured that, in accordance with the third additional provision of the Royal Decree passed in Spain and confirmed today following the resolution by the SPTO Director, the terms are suspended and the deadlines for processing the procedures of public sector entities are interrupted until the decreed State of Alarm ceases to be in force.
In spite of this situation, PONS IP will continue to operate and submit your applications and renewals as usual, as well as taking all necessary steps to minimize potential delays in the processing of files once the current situation is over. Therefore, we recommend you to continue with your registration, renewal, and asset protection plans in place, making use of the extended deadlines only in case the circumstances that arise so require.
Finally, in relation to those matters pending before a Spanish court, the RD 463/2020 provides that, with exceptions, terms are suspended and procedural deadlines are interrupted for all courts. Deadlines will be calculated again once the aforementioned RD or, if applicable, its extensions lose validity. The suspension of terms and deadlines, and their resumption, also extends to administrative procedures. Finally, the RD declaring the state of alarm suspends the prescription and expiration deadlines of any actions and rights during the validity of the state of alarm or its extensions.
On the other hand, the CJEU and the EGC have both issued communications providing for the partial suspension of their jurisdictional activity. This means that, as far as the CJEU is concerned, oral hearings set until 27 March, and as far as the EGC is concerned, hearings set until 3 April, are postponed to a later date. It is important to note that procedural deadlines are NOT suspended in proceedings before both courts, unless the existence of a fortuitous case or force majeure is proven.
Our Legal Department will duly inform you of the status of each jurisdictional or administrative proceeding as a result of the entry into force of RD 463/2020, and will be at your disposal to receive any information or clarification you may require.
We thank you in advance for your trust. Warm regards,