Impact of Covid-19 on IP Practices

As the case with all businesses, IP agents and practitioners had to work remotely due the current coronavirus pandemic. Many IP Offices had to implement different and exceptional practices attempting to achieve smooth workflow.

Some Jurisdictions’ IP Offices still adapt an in-person filing system which requires original notarized and/or legalized documents; while others adapt online filing system submitting only scanned copies of the documents, simply signed, notarized and/or legalized, based on local regulations.

Online-filing-system jurisdictions were the least affected by working remotely and nationwide lockdowns. Working-remotely, IP prosecution normally took place submitting online applications with electronic copies of the documents with a grace period to submit the originals; if applicable. Deadlines were exceptionally extended due to the pandemic.

On the other hand, IP prosecution was halted in jurisdictions adapting in-person filing systems as long as the country is under locked-down. Accordingly, the submission of new applications was not accepted and all deadlines were suspended and rescheduled.

A number of the said jurisdictions considered avoiding full-closure and suspension of IP Matters taking one or more of the following challenging actions:
– suspension of deadlines;
– allowing online filing of new applications/other IP acts;
– allowing the submission of electronic copies of supporting documents and suspending the requirements to provide paper copies of certification;
– establishment of a grace period to submit all the original and duly certified documentation.

The link below provides a detailed tracker for all actions taken by each jurisdiction via World Intellectual Property organization (WIPO)

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