Intellectual Property

IPO's Operations During the General Community Quarantine

Updated as of 29 June 2020

With the imposition of the General Community Quarantine in Metro Manila where the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) main office is located, the IPOPHL has resumed regular operations on May 26, 2020, subject to the following limitations in view of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Operations in the IPOPHL Main Offie

  • All hearings and mediation conferences scheduled May 26, 2020 onwards shall proceed, unless otherwise advised. Mediation proceedings may be conducted through online meetings/conferences at the parties' request.
  • From Mondays to Thursdays, the Cashier Section and Document Receiving Section shall accept payments and receive documents that cannot be made online.
  • IPOPHL will be unable to accommodate visitors at the Ground Floor Lobby every Friday. All services and transactions being performed at the Ground Floor Lobby of the IPOPHL Main Office, including filings, payments, receiving of documents, and public information services, shall thus be suspended every Friday.

Extension of Deadlines

  • Deadlines for papers, pleading, documents and payments of related fees are extended as follows:
Original Deadline

New Deadline

March 16 to April 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

May 1 to June 30, 2020

July 30, 2020

  • New patent and trademark applications claiming priority date must be filed before the original deadline to preserve the priority claim.
  • Filing fees for new patent and trademark applications, including those claiming priority dates, filed online during the above-mentioned periods shall be due on the applicable extended deadlines. The date when the application was filed online shall be deemed the filing date.
  • Filings and proceedings in relation to the voluntary surrender of patents shall not be covered by the foregoing extension periods.
  • Submissions and payments with deadlines falling due on a Friday, a holiday, or a non-working day, can be filed or made on the next business day.
  • COVID-19-related patent applications shall follow the deadlines prescribed by Memorandum Circular No. 2020-010.

Filing/transmission of documents

  • New applications for patent, utility model and industrial design shall be filed online, except voluminous applications which may be filed via mail/courier or manually.
  • Trademark-related documents, such as new applications, Declarations of Actual Use, responses to office actions, renewals, and requests for recordal shall be filed online.
  • Scanned copies of required original documents shall be submitted through the online filing system in lieu of the originals. Parties, however, may be required to submit the original document if the due execution is questioned by the examiner.
  • Requests for certified true copies and other certifications may be filed via email, private courier or postal mail with the relevant Bureau or Office, save in cases relating to trademarks which shall be filed online. The requesting party shall be informed of any applicable fees, with payments to be made in accordance with the applicable deadlines above.
  • All other written communications to the IPO​PHL which cannot be filed online, such as Power of Attorney and pleadings/motions relative to cases pending before the Bureau of Legal Affairs, may be filed manually or via mail/ courier under existing rules.

As seen above, the use of the IPOPHL’s online system in filing patent and trademark applications and submitting trademark-related documents, which used to be just optional, is now mandatory. The Bureau of Patents also recently launched its eDocFile for Patents where one can file patent-related documents and pay annuities online. The online filing systems of the other IPOPHL Bureaus and Offices, such as the Bureau of Legal Affairs, are currently being developed with utmost priority, as the IPOPHL aims to automate all its processes from end-to-end, under the leadership of the new Director General Atty. Rowel Barba.

Click here to read the entire text of IPO MC No. 2020-013, as amended by IPO MC Nos. 2020-013A, 2020-013B, 2020-013C and 2020-013D.

Click hereto read the entire text of IPO MC No. 2020-019.

This updates the following previous articles:

Disclaimer: The information in this website is provided for general informational purposes only. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Platon Martinez or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances.