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Given the exceptional circumstances and the heavy disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis across the European Union, the President of the CPVO took the decision to extend deadlines that fall in the period 17 March – 3 May included, until 4 May 2020 for parties to proceedings before the CPVO and the Board of Appeal. The extension applies to all deadlines except for the submission of material for technical examinations and the payment of examination fees. Details of this decision are available on a dedicated webpage.

The CPVO has set up a COVID-19 Business Continuity Team (BCT), composed of CPVO’s President and a limited number of staff members. The BCT monitors the situation and takes decisions to preserve both CPVO’s business continuity and the health safety of our staff, external stakeholders and users. The BCT is in regular contact with relevant public authorities at EU, national and local level.

Even though the CPVO is taking all actions possible under the current circumstances to maintain business continuity and guarantee the efficient running of CPVO’s business operations and IT systems, we understand that the extraordinary situation in the EU and worldwide may create disruption in communications between CPVO, users and clients. In particular, the CPVO is aware of users’ and clients’ questions and concerns relating to the time limits for the reception of documents, the submission of plant material and the payment of fees. The CPVO is working at addressing these concerns and we will provide more detailed information in the course of next week (i.e. week of 23 March 2020).

In consequence of the lockdown decreed by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, which started at 12:00 on Tuesday 17 March and will last for a minimum duration of fifteen days, the CPVO has adopted adjustment measures applicable to our working processes.

The following measures apply as of Tuesday 17 March and will last until further notice:

  • All CPVO personnel in non-critical functions will telework and the presence of CPVO personnel in critical functions at CPVO premises will be limited to what is strictly necessary.
  • All meetings with external visitors at CPVO’s premises are cancelled and CPVO staff members will not participate in external meetings during the lockdown period. In replacement of such meetings, phone and video-conferencing calls may be organised.
  • The CPVO Administrative Council meeting which was foreseen to take place on 1st April is cancelled and decisions will be adopted through written procedure if possible.

We are also in close contact with organisations and stakeholders in the CPVO’s network such as plant variety right authorities and examination offices with the aim to ensure we have an accurate overview of the various situations and developments across the European Union and their potential impact on the EU plant variety right system. 

We will analyse the information received and we will update this webpage to inform applicants and parties to proceedings as well as other stakeholders on all possible impacts.