IP Australia has announced it will end its Streamlined Extensions program on 31 March 2021, save for any unexpected developments in the pandemic.
Streamlined Extension Program
The Streamlined Extension Program was announced in April 2020 as a measure to assist trade mark and IP Right applicants during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the program, applicants were entitled to fee-free extensions of three months for certain extensions of time. One condition of access to the extensions was a requirement to declare the applicant had been adversely affected by the pandemic.
The program has been on a scheduled month-to-month review since the end of 2020 and IP Australia previously stated that notice would be given before withdrawing the program.
IP Right applicants should ensure that they request any necessary extensions of time they are eligible for under the Streamlined Extension Program prior to 31 March 2021.
Extensions of Time after the Program Ends
Other extensions of time will continue to be available in line with usual regulations and legislation. IP Australia has stated it will continue to consider Covid-related requests for extension on a "case by case" basis.
Generally, such extensions attract a filing fee which must be paid upon lodging the relevant request. However, IP Australia has a general discretion to waive payment of fees where appropriate.
For more details about the Streamlined Extension Program, and other measures affecting IP Rights during the pandemic, please read our Covid-19 Update post or IP Australia's official Covid-19 Update Page.