OJ EPO 2010, 351 - Notice from the European Patent Office dated 3 May 2010 concern- ing the extension of time limits under Rule 134 EPC

1. Ash clouds from the Icelandic volcanic eruption have led to a standstill of air traffic across Europe. This substantially affected postal and delivery services, resulting in an interruption/dislocation in the delivery of mail from 15 to 28 April 2010.

2. As this interruption/dislocation affected inter alia Germany and the Netherlands, time limits to be observed vis--vis the EPO which would have expired in the period from 15 to 28 April 2010 have been extended pursuant to Rule 134(2) EPC to 29 April 2010 in regard of all parties and representatives. This applies also to the time limit referred to in Rule 37(2) EPC for forwarding to the EPO European patent applications filed with a central industrial property office of a contracting state.

3. As far as time limits under the PCT are concerned, applicants are referred to Rule 82 PCT. This provision, however, does not apply to the priority period. If an international application was received at the EPO after expiry of the priority period, restoration of the right of priority may be available (Rule 26bis.3 PCT).

References: r134; r_82_pct;

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EPC Implementing Rules

PCT Implementing Rules