South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

Continuous updates: IP offices in South- East Asia implement measures during COVID-19 crisis

(last Update: 21 September 2020)

  • Brunei: The Brunei’s IP Office (BruIPO) updated its services operating hours from 8.00AM -12.00PM and 2.00PM - 3.00PM, Monday to Thursday; and 8.00AM to 11.00AM on Saturday (read more here).

  • Cambodia: Cambodia expands e-filing of Trademarks in response to COVID-19. The Department of Intellectual Property Rights of Cambodia has implemented new functions in its e-filing system to allow for online submission of most post-registration matters (read more here).

    The Cambodian Department of Intellectual Property Rights (DIPR) recently issued new requirements for trademark owners and their agents to file Affidavits of Use or Non-Use. Under the new requirements, the affidavit must no longer be signed by the trademark owner. Instead, assuming a registered agent is representing the owner, the agent will declare on the amended official form whether the mark is in use or not. If the mark is being used, evidence must now be submitted. This can take the form of pictures of the product on sale, sales receipts, advertising material, newspaper cuttings, or other forms (read more here).

  • Indonesia: The Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) held a virtual meeting through video conference on 23 June 2020. According to the DGIP Director, in practicing the new normal, DGIP establishes a Task Force of Covid-19 to organize the work management, such as prohibition for 50 year old employee or older to work at the office, arrangement for employees below 45 year old to work in shift, and conducting health control proactively (read more here).

  • Laos: On May 11, 2020, the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control (NTCCPC) issued Recommendations, no. 071, on the Conditions and Measures for Operations of Business Operators during the COVID-19 Outbreak. The recommendations generally ease the required preventive measures and replace the conditions and measures issued on April 21; the new list of conditions and measures must be adopted before a company’s operations will be allowed to resume in full (read more here).

  • Malaysia: The Malaysian IP office (MyIPO) issued an operating guideline at Customer Service Counter of its head quarter and branches effective from 9 June 2020:

    • Headquarters, Penang, Kuantan, Sabah and Sarawak: Monday – Friday, 8.30AM to 4.30PM;
    • Johor: Sunday – Wednesday, 8.30AM to 4.30PM & Thursday, 8.30AM to 3.30PM;
    • Melaka: Monday – Friday, 8.30AM to 4.00PM.

    (Read more here).

  • Myanmar: In response to the recent uptick in cases of COVID-19 found in Myanmar, and concern about the disease’s spread, all branches of Myanmar’s Office of Registration and Deeds (ORD) have temporarily ceased accepting declarations. While this is not expected to impact the highly anticipated soft opening of the country’s new Department of Intellectual Property, due to start October 1, 2020, it will affect IP owners who have not yet registered their mark with the ORD but who would like to take advantage of trademark re-registration under the soft opening period (read more here).

  • Philippines: The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) announced that all filings, submissions, and payments shall be done online through IPOPHL’s online portal starting on 1 September 2020 except for payments PHP 100,000 and above which shall be accepted at the Main Office.

    A maximum of 75 clients or visitors shall be allowed to enter the receiving area per day. IPOPHL receiving and cashiering counters will remain open from Mondays to Thursdays from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm only (read more here).

  • Singapore: The Singaporean IP office (IPOS) announced that excluded days period that was declared via Registries Practice Direction No. 2 of 2020 in relation to the nationwide extended circuit breaker has ended on 4 June 2020.

    If the IP owners need more time beyond existing deadlines, please file a request for an extension of time via the requisite form. If you are unable to do so due to circumstances related to COVID-19 situation, please write to IPOS at ipos_enquiry@ipos.gov.sg. IPOS will assess such requests to extend deadlines in these situations on a case-by-case basis. Please note that extensions of time cannot be given for instances where deadlines have already lapsed.

    The physical office will be closed until further notice, but online portal, IP2SG, at www.ip2.sg and mobile app, IPOS Go, continue to be available (read more here).

  • Thailand: On 24 March 2020, the Thai IP office (DIP) issued a notification allowing the submission of requests for extensions of time for filing applications and other submissions (e.g., appeals, oppositions, responses to office actions, renewals, etc.) after the deadline has already passed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the requests must include valid reasons for the extension if citing COVID-19, such as being treated for infection of the virus, under lockdown, or unable to return to one’s home country. The extension request must be filed within 15 days of the COVID-19 event which prevented the initial submission (read more here).

  • Vietnam: Following the new Notice on Loosen Strict Social Distancing Measures, the IP Vietnam office (IP Viet Nam) informed resumption of receiving applications directly at its office from 24 April 2020. In the meantime, online applications and application via post are still accepted (read more here).

    On 26 May 2020, in line with the Government's effort to support businesses coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister of Finance issued Circular No. 45/2020/TT-BTC providing a temporary 50% discount, effective until 31 December 2020, on certain industrial property fees at the IP Vietnam office such as fees for filing applications, extension of time limits for responding to notifications, issuing registration certificates, etc. (read more here).

  • WIPO: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launches a tool to Track IP Policy Information in Member States during COVID-19 Pandemic which is so-called COVID-19 IP Policy Tracker. This Tracker provides information on measures adopted by IP offices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the extension of deadlines. In addition, the policy tracker provides information on legislative and regulatory measures for access and voluntary actions (read more here).

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