Legal Remedies for Missed Deadlines Resulting from the Earthquake in Japan
In view of the earthquake in Japan on 1 January 2024, the EPO has issued a notice drawing attention to the legal remedies available when a deadline is missed under exceptional circumstances.
In particular, the European Patent Office (EPO) recognises that being affected by the earthquake in Japan counts as an “exceptional occurrence” such that it may be possible for a document received late to be considered received on time. Particular criteria apply and evidence needs to be provided (in accordance with Rule 134(5) EPC). However, it is worth considering whether the safeguard can be used if a deadline has been missed.
As also highlighted in the notice, there are provisions under the PCT (e.g. Rule 82quater.1 PCT) which also provide safeguards for international applications.
If you require advice regarding the legal remedies for missing a deadline, please do not hesitate to contact your usual J A Kemp advisor.