You can still recover the rights through the figure of RESTITUTIO IN INTEGRUM.
It is a procedure that allows you to recover an expiration term that has expired with the condition of showing that you have acted with the required diligence.
The Law 17/2001 of Trademarks, introduced this novelty with the need to harmonize the Spanish regulations with the Community and international system, whose purpose is to avoid that the non-observance of a deadline results in the loss of a right, provided that action has been taken with enough diligence.
In patent offices, for example, annuities must be paid every year, so the possibility that an annuity payment may be overlooked may trigger that patent to enter the public domain, a real ruin for the costs assumed and for the years that invested in research.
As has been mentioned, a certain diligence is needed, that is to say, to prove that a certain period has not been met even though all the diligence required by the circumstances has been demonstrated. ”
But what is diligence? It is an indeterminate term or legal concept, so the Industrial Property Offices can and should examine case by case and in principle they should not be very strict, otherwise this figure would be meaningless. For example, even if he gave appropriate instructions to his lawyer and the latter, in the absence of communication, interpretation or computer error, he did not proceed with the orders in question.
Apart from this figure, we can say that the Patent Law provides for the possibility of rehabilitating an expired patent accrediting force majeure.
How to distinguish the Force Majeure from other figures? A criterion to say that we are in front of Force Majeure and not other figures, is the criterion of the importance or seriousness of the event. It is understood that the most serious are force majeure. It should be added that it must be an unpredictable and inevitable event, such as illness or catastrophes, among many other cases.
In short, try to have the deadlines checked, but in the case that one obviates, take into account these figures that may allow the restoration of their rights.
As always from Freelance Lawyer, we recommend that you advise well with your trusted lawyer