In response to recent developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and stricter lockdowns across Europe, the President of the EPO has decided to prolong the closure of its filing offices in Munich, The Hague and Berlin for the receipt of documents until 10 January 2021. Previously the EPO was to have re-opened its filing offices on 4 January 2021.
This means that, in accordance with Rule 134(1) EPC, all time limits for filing documents and making payments that expire between 24 December 2020 and 10 January 2021 will be extended until 11 January 2021.
Notwithstanding the above, users can continue to submit documents to the EPO during this period via the EPO's online filing tools (Online Filing, CMS and Web-Form Filing) or by fax. The automated mailboxes (located at Munich's PschorrHöfe and in Berlin) will also be unaffected by this closure and can be used at any time. Outside office hours, documents may be handed to the porter at any of the EPO filing offices. Our user services will continue to provide basic user support during business hours throughout the closure period.
All oral proceedings scheduled to take place between 4 and 8 January 2021 (including those to be held via videoconference) will be rescheduled.
A notice from the President of the EPO on the extended closure of the EPO filing offices has been posted online on the EPO website and will also be published in the Official Journal of December 2020.