IP Australia is continuing to provide free extensions of time of up to three months until 28 February 2021 if a deadline cannot be met as a result of a disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whilst the maximum length of extension that can be requested at one time is three months, additional extensions of time may be available if needed.
The Covid-19 relief offered by IP Australia is a streamlined process and no declaratory evidence or fee is required; it is as simple as ticking a box. The relief applies to a variety of processes for patents, trade marks and designs; including deadlines associated with oppositions and hearings processes (such as periods to file evidence), although there are some exceptions. For example: these extensions of time do not apply to deadlines for payment of renewal fees. However, the usual 6-month grace period still applies. For trade marks, an extension is also unavailable for filing a divisional application.
Whether or not IP Australia continues to provide pandemic relief will remain to be seen. However, it is possible that relief will continue where ever mass global disruption persists.