In order to contain the spread of Covid-19, the Philippine government has placed Metro Manila under community quarantine from 15 March 2020 to 14 April 2020. Metro Manila has also been placed under curfew from 8pm to 5am during this period. As a result, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has issued a memorandum outlining an extension of various due dates and the provision of limited services until 15 April when the community quarantine ends.
Patent and Trademark Filings and Administrative Actions before the IPOPHL
- Work is suspended at the IPOPHL from 16 March 2020 until 14 April 2020. However a skeletal workforce will be maintained to ensure continued delivery of services;
- New applications for patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks and trademark related documents may be filed online via the electronic filing system. To avoid any potential issues with the electronic filing system, we request that you send us all filing instructions at least one day before the due date;
- Responses to official actions, declarations, and other documents including motions for extension of the period to file oppositions, answers, position papers, and appeals that fall due during the quarantine period must be filed on 15 April 2020, and will be considered as having been filed on their due dates;
- Payments that are due during the quarantine period must be paid on 15 April 2020;
- No manual filings will be accepted during the quarantine period;
- Requests for certified true copies of documents will not be accepted during the quarantine period;
- All scheduled hearings and mediations before the IPOPHL are suspended.
IP Cases before the Regular Courts
- Court hearings have been suspended from 13 March 2020 to 18 March 2020;
- Court services have not been suspended. Pleadings and other motions must still be filed and attended to as they fall due;
- The Philippines Supreme Court will issue guidelines as deemed necessary.
As a firm, we have implemented measures to ensure that we are able to continue to provide quality service without interruption during this time, while keeping the health and safety of our employees and communities a priority. We will continue to monitor the situation in the Philippines and will provide updates as necessary.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.