Intellectual Property

IPO's Modified Operations During the MECQ

Updated as of 21 May 2020

With the recent imposition of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila where the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) main office is located, the IPOPHL has announced that it shall resume regular operations commencing on May 26, 2020, subject to the following limitations in view of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Operations in the IPOPHL Main Office

  • All scheduled hearings and mediation conferences are suspended until May 25, 2020. Those scheduled May 26, 2020 onwards shall proceed, unless otherwise advised. Mediation proceedings may be conducted through online meetings/conferences at the parties' request.
  • Starting May 28, 2020, the Cashier Section and Document Receiving Section shall resume accepting payments and receiving documents that cannot be made online, based on the following schedule, the first few days depending on the first letter of the name of the paying/filing law firm/ company, or the first letter of the surname of the filing/paying individual:

First Letter


A – C

May 28, 2020

D – H

May 29, 2020

I – O

June 1, 2020

P – Z

June 2, 2020

All filers/payor may transact with the IPOPHL starting June 3, 2020.

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 abovementioned 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.
  • 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 starting May 28, 2020.
  • 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 starting May 28, 2020 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 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 and 2020-013B.

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.