What the circular says
In light of the extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until 30 April 2020, the IPOPHL released the following guidelines:
- The IPOPHL will continue to utilize a work-from-home arrangement until 30 April 2020 to ensure continued delivery of its services.
- All scheduled hearings, including mediation, remain suspended until 30 April 2020. All seminars, meetings, and public hearings scheduled from 16 March 2020 to 30 April 2020 will likewise be reset to a later date.
- Deadlines for all papers, pleadings, documents and for payments thereof falling due from 16 March 2020 to 15 May 2020 are deemed extended for a period of 60 calendar days from the due date.
- New applications for patents, utility models, industrial designs, and trademarks for the period of 16 March 2020 to 30 April 2020 may be filed online through the IPOPHL electronic filing system, but processing of these applications will only commence upon resumption of work. Manual filings will not be accepted during the quarantine period.
- Applicants for registration of patents, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks claiming priority date must use the IPOPHL electronic/online filing system to comply with the prescribed period for claiming of priority date.
- Payment of filing fees, including the claim for convention priority fee of new applications for patents, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks, with or without claim of priority date, filed from 16 March 2020 to 15 May 2020 through the IPOPHL electronic filing system are deemed extended for a period of 60 calendar days from the online filing date, although applicants may still opt to pay using the electronic/online payment system upon filing. The date of the online filing will be deemed as the filing date.
- The operations of documentary receiving sections of the IPOPHL are suspended during the period of the ECQ. Letters, queries and other written communications may be filed on 4 May 2020, the next working day after the effectivity of the ECQ.
- Requests for certified true copies cannot be processed during the period of 16 March 2020 to 30 April 2020.
- Access to IPOPHL mailboxes will no longer be allowed during the period of the ECQ.
- Field Operations Personnel of the IPOPHL outside the National Capital Region will continue to perform their functions provided that the areas in which they operate are not quarantined and are declared safe or COVID-19 free.
Actions to consider
Since manual filings are currently suspended, clients are advised to submit new applications for patents, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks through the IPOPHL electronic filing system. Clients submitting applications claiming priority dates within the ECQ period are likewise advised to submit all requirements through the IPOPHL electronic/online filing system in order to comply with the prescribed deadlines and to avoid waiving the priority claims.
Clients should also note the 60-day extension for the submission of all papers, pleadings, documents and for payments thereof falling due within the period of 16 March 2020 to 15 May 2020. Payments can still be made through the online system during this period.
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*Authored by Quisumbing Torres, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein. Please contact QTInfoDesk@quisumbingtorres.com for inquiries.