ANNOUNCEMENT / STATEMENTS

Due to the recent declaration of a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine by the Office of the President, IPOPHL is further extending deadlines/due dates for payments and submission of documents.

List of Adjusted Due Dates

Due Dates

New Deadline

20 to 22 July 2020

19 August 2020

23 to 26 July 2020

20 August 2020

27 to 29 July 2020

24 August 2020

30 July to 02 August 2020

25 August 2020

03 to 05 August 2020

26 August 2020

06 to 09 August 2020

27 August 2020

10 to 12 August 2020

31 August 2020

13 to 15 August 2020

1 September 2020

16 to 18 August 2020

2 September 2020

Opening of cashiering and receiving services at the IPOPHL main office will be on 19 August 2020 with the usual operating hours from Mondays to Thursdays only. (IPOPHL MC No. 2020 - 028C as of 05 August 2020)

GUIDELINES

IPOPHL supports the spirit of Republic Act No. 11469, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act” and joins the nation in providing relief to applicants and stakeholders faced with financial constraints and logistical challenges. In view of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, IPOPHL shall be implementing the following office guidelines:

Skeleton Workforce and WORK-FROM-HOME Arrangement

IPOPHL shall resume limited regular operations at its main office commencing on 26 May 2020. To ensure continuity in the delivery of its services, taking into account medical and logistical considerations, each Director/Unit Head shall decide on the number of personnel to comprise the skeleton workforce up to a maximum of 40% of the bureau or unit’s total number of manpower comprising permanent and co-terminus employees, contract of service personnel, and job order personnel. Personnel who are not part of the skeleton workforce shall work from home.

Online filing system

To promote efficiency and maximize the work-from-home arrangement of its personnel and to transition to the exclusive use, as applicable, of electronic filing and payment procedures as the new normal, filings and payments shall be made electronically as follows:

A. Online Filings for Trademark Applications and Trademark-Related Transactions/Documentary Submissions.

New and renewal applications for trademarks shall only be filed online through the IPOPHL electronic filing system. Documents related to registered marks as well as pending trademark applications emanating from applicants, registrants, their agents and successors-in-interests, shall be transmitted only through eDocfile.

B. Online Filing for New Patent, Utility Model, and Industrial Design Applications.

New applications for patent, utility model, industrial design emanating from or transmitted within the National Capital Region shall be filed online through the IPOPHL electronic filing system except for voluminous invention applications. Voluminous applications are those which exceed 250 pages, which may be filed manually or via mail or courier.

b.1 Bona Fide Applications. Only bona fide online applications shall be uploaded into the system.

b.2 Multiple Identical Online Applications.  Applicants who filed multiple online identical invention, utility model or industrial design applications due to inadvertence or technical issues and received system–generated acknowledgment receipts, applicants/agents are required to confirm via email to verify@ipophil.gov.ph which application will be given due course within 48 hours from the receipt of acknowledgement. Otherwise, the first application filed shall be considered as the bona fide application and the other identical application/s will be considered as redundant applications which shall not be processed and shall be removed from the Patents internal system.

b.3. Fictitious Online Invention/UM/ID Applications. An application containing highly-questionable entries (e.g., title, names, addresses, etc.) and/or unintelligible specification details not compliant with Section 32 of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines indicating the absence of bona fide intention to seek protection shall be considered as fictitious applications. Such applications shall be filtered and reviewed and shall be removed, when warranted, from the Patents internal system

C. Scanned copies of originals. 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 questions arise regarding the authenticity or due execution of the scanned copy.

D. Online Technical Support.  For technical concerns and issues on online filing and payment, queries can be sent to onlineservices@ipophil.gov.ph.

E. Other IPOPHL Bureaus and Offices. Other IPOPHL Bureaus and Offices without existing online filing systems shall continue to accept manual filings and filings via postal mail or private courier in accordance with their respective rules or through IPOPHL Satellite Offices (IPSOs) pending the development of online systems as soon as possible.

Cashier Section Operations

Cashiering operations at the IPOPHL Main Office resume on 28 May 2020. It shall be open 8AM-5PM, with cut- off at 4PM, from Mondays to Thursdays only. Payment can also be done through postal money order. (see IPOPHL MC No. 2020 - 018)

Payment for annuity fees in the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) and above will be accepted by IPOPHL Cashier subject to the alphabetical schedule in Par. 8 MC No. 2020-13. (see IPOPHL MC No. 2020 - 014)

Documentary Receiving Operations

The operations of IPOPHL’s documentary receiving sections resume on 28 May 2020. Documents shall be received from 8AM to 5PM, with cut-off at 4PM, from Mondays to Thursdays only. (see IPOPHL MC No. 2020 - 018)

Extension of Deadlines

The deadlines for submission of papers/replies/documents including payment of fees shall be as follows:

  1. Deadlines falling from 16 March 2020 to 31 March 2020 initially extended until 31 May 2020, are further extended until 30 June 2020;
  2. Deadlines falling from 01 April 2020 to 30 April 2020, initially extended for sixty (60) days, are further extended until 30 June 2020;
  3. Deadlines falling from 01 May 2020 to 30 June 2020 will be extended until 30 July 2020.
  4. Submissions and payments with deadlines falling due on a Friday can be filed or made on the next business day (see IPOPHL MC No. 2020 - 018)
  5.  

Payment of filing fees including claim of convention priority fee of new applications for patents, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks with or without claim of convention priority date filed through the IPOPHL electronic filing systems during the above mentioned periods shall likewise be due on the extended deadlines aforementioned.

The date when the application was filed online shall be deemed the filing date.

Prescribed Period for Submission of Third Party Observation and Adverse Information Under MC 2020-010

Notwithstanding the foregoing, Memorandum Circular 2020-010 shall continue to govern the filing of written Third Party Observation (TPO) for inventions and Adverse Information (AI) on utility model and industrial design applications for PPE, medical/health care equipment/devices, and pharmaceutical products urgently needed to contain and address the COVID-19 health situation.

Voluntary Surrender of Patents

Filings and proceedings in relation to the voluntary surrender of patents, utility models, and industrial designs, may be filed manually, online, or by email. The extension of deadlines in item 5 above shall not apply to the said proceedings. However, the requirement on verification shall be complied with upon resumption of normal operations.

Issuance of Statements of Account (SOA)

The issuance of Statements of Account  for official responses, new applications, pleadings, or other documents where a fee is required, shall be  from 8AM-5PM, with cut-off at 3PM, from Mondays to Thursdays, except for trademark-related transactions which is governed by Item 2.a. hereof.

Requests for Certified True Copies and Other Certifications

Requests for certified true copies of documents and other certifications may be filed via email, private courier or postal mail with the relevant Bureau or Office save in cases relating to TM which shall be filed online. The requesting party shall be informed of any applicable fees, with payments to be made in accordance with item 3 above.

Conduct of Hearings

Effective 03 July 2020, preliminary conferences (for IPC), and hearings, pre-trials, and trials (for IPV), may be conducted via online video conference as follows:

  1. Parties may file a joint request addressed to blaonlinehearing@ipophil.gov.ph for the conduct of the preliminary conference, hearing, pre-trial, and trial be conducted via online video conference. The request must indicate the e-mail addresses of the parties.
  2. The online video conference shall use only the platform to be prescribed by the Bureau of Legal Affairs (BLA), and as scheduled by the Adjudication/Hearing Officer. The parties shall be notified via email of the time and date, and the link or information on how to join the online video conference. The notice shall also remind the parties that all details and information used to gain access to the proceedings shall be used with strict confidentiality, as any unauthorized sharing of the said details shall be dealt with fines and/or other sanctions.
  3. All participants must be visible during the proceedings. When presenting a witness, the parties may be required to provide multiple angles supplying a full view of the surroundings of the said witness to prevent the occurrence of coaching. If during the hearing via videoconference, the Adjudication/Hearing Officer issues or promulgates an order or decision, a copy thereof shall be furnished the parties. The service of such order or decision to the parties may be done electronically through email, but proof of receipt thereof should be properly recorded. The hard copy of the said order or decision shall be kept on file as part of the records of the case, and the parties may secure certified true copies thereof upon proper request. The hearings via videoconference shall resemble or mirror, as far as practicable, the in-court proceeding. As such, the dignity and solemnity of court proceedings shall be observed at all times. All those participating therein shall be inappropriate attire.
  4. The proceedings shall be recorded by the Adjudication/Hearing Officer or his/her assigned Legal Assistant using the prescribed platform. The recording shall be stored and filed to form part of the case files. This notwithstanding, the official stenographer shall still transcribe the stenographic notes to be attached to the records of the case, certify as to the correctness of the transcript, and indicate that the hearing was conducted through videoconferencing. For these purposes, the stenographer shall join the videoconference proceedings. As such, the stenographer is bound by the same strict confidentiality regarding the above access details and information. No other person is allowed to record the proceedings.
  5. All online submissions from the parties, particularly those at issue during or relating to the hearing via videoconference, must be received by the Adjudication Officer and all other parties at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing via videoconference. The submissions shall be sent to the provided official email addresses of the Bureau and the other party. The hard copy of the submissions must be filed not later than ten (10) days from the scheduled hearing. 

Social Gatherings Cancelled

Seminars, meetings, and public hearings scheduled at the IPOPHL, and the participation of IPOPHL officers and staff to similar activities organized by other institutions, are deemed cancelled until further notice.

Access to Mailboxes

Access to IPOPHL mailboxes shall be allowed starting 26 May 2020 except for Fridays beginning 19 June 2020 (IPOPHL MC No. 2020-018)

IPSO Operations

IPSOs shall continue operating in areas under GCQ.

Transactions at the IPOPHL Ground Floor

The public is advised that all transactions shall be done at the IPOPHL ground floor. The IPOPHL Library will temporarily be off limits to the public until further notice. Only those who have scheduled appointments will be allowed access to the 2nd, 14th and 16th floors.

For Visitors

IPOPHL will be unable to accommodate visitors at the Ground Floor Lobby of the IPOPHL Main Office every Friday, beginning on 19 June 2020. (see IPOPHL MC No. 2020 - 018)

Additional Health & Social Distancing Measures

To ensure the safety of the transacting public within the office premises, IPOPHL shall prescribe additional health & social distancing measures. IPOPHL security guards are authorized to limit the number of persons inside the lobby and all persons entering IPOPHL shall be required to wear masks and comply with other safety & health measures to be adopted by management, including temperature checking. A person with a temperature higher than 37° Celsius or with cough/cold shall be denied entry into the premises of IPOPHL.

To avoid inconvenience, the public is encouraged to send email to ask@ipophil.gov.ph or utilize the IPOPHL Public Information Desk Hotline at Tel. No. (02)7238-6300 loc. 5405 and 5406 before proceeding to IPOPHL’s offices. 

Thank you for your kind cooperation in these measures.

REFERENCES

Memorandum Circulars:

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