On 24 March 2020, the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) issued a notification allowing the submission of requests for extensions of time for filing applications and other submissions (e.g., appeals, oppositions, responses to office actions, renewals, etc.) to the DIP after the deadline has already passed. This notification is issued as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and applies to all submissions to the DIP which includes matters related to trademarks, patents, geographical indications, and layout-designs of integrated circuits.
However, the requests must include valid reasons for the extension if citing COVID-19, such as being treated for infection of the virus, under lockdown, or unable to return to one’s home country. The reasons must justify why the applicant could not file an application or submission to the DIP within the prescribed period. For companies filing the request, they may rely on the fact their offices are in affected areas of Coronavirus. The requests also need to include supporting documentation, such as copies of passports with entry or exit stamps, medical certificates, or other evidence which can prove the extensions are warranted by the situation.
The extension request must be filed within 15 days of the COVID-19 event which prevented the initial submission. Nonetheless, approval shall rest with the officer in charge of the case.
For further information, please contact the team at Baker McKenzie.