On 16 March 2020, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) promulgated IPOPHL Memorandum Circular No. 2020-006 entitled "Updated Advisory on IPOPHL Services in Light of COVID-19" (Circular), effective on the same date.
What the Circular says
In response to the implementation of enhanced community quarantine and stringent social distancing in Metro Manila, the IPOPHL released the following guidelines:
- Work at IPOPHL is suspended from 16 March 2020 until 14 April 2020. IPOPHL shall be adopting a work-from-home arrangement to ensure continued delivery of its services.
- All scheduled hearings, including mediation, are suspended. Seminars, meetings, and public hearings scheduled during the quarantine period shall be reset to a later date.
- Deadlines for all papers, pleadings, documents, and payments falling due from 16 March 2020 to 14 April 2020 are deemed extended for a period of thirty (30) calendar days from the due date.
- New applications for patents, utility models, industrial designs, and trademarks for the period of 16 March 2020 to 14 April 2020 may be filed through the IPOPHL electronic filing system. Processing shall only commence upon resumption of work. Manual filings will not be accepted during the quarantine period.
- The operations of documentary receiving sections of IPOPHL are suspended. Requests for certified true copies cannot be processed. Letters, queries, and other written communications may be filed beginning 15 April 2020.
Actions to Consider
Clients are advised to submit new applications for patents, utility models, industrial designs, and trademarks through the IPOPHL electronic filing system while manual filing is suspended.
Clients should also note the 30-day extension for submission of all papers, pleadings, documents, and payments falling due within the quarantine period.