South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

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

(last Update: 25 May 2020)

  • Brunei: The Brunei’s IP Office (BruIPO) informed that its reception area will be temporarily closed and BruIPO will only accept documents, filing submissions and payments. Any other matters or enquiries can be made via call and/or email (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 DGIP, the Indonesian government agency that oversees IP rights in the country, issued its latest notification on the limitation of physical contact due to the COVID-19 outbreak on May 13, 2020, extending the office closure of physical counters until May 29. During this period, all DGIP officers are working from home and accessing the system remotely, optimizing the online channels for IP matters. These conditions will remain in effect until at least May 29, 2020 (under Circular Letter No. HKI-OT.02.02-19, which may be subject to extension) (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 announcement of on operating guidelines of which its customer service counters operations will open to public every working day with some certain limitations. The starting date of Headquarters and branches are 21 May 2020 and 18 May 2020, respectively, with operating hours from 9.00 AM to 1.00 PM. Advisory service and public search room facility are not available during Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period (read more here).

  • Myanmar: On 25 March 2020 the President’s Office issued a letter containing measures to mitigate the potential impact of COVID-19 on government offices. Government offices and departments will reduce their staff by 50% (presumably on a rotating basis) (read more here).

  • Philippines: IPOPHL shall resume limited regular operations at its main office commencing on 26 May 2020. Cashiering operations at the IPOPHL Main Office shall resume on 28 May 2020. It shall be open 8AM-5PM, with cut- off at 4PM, from Mondays to Fridays. The cashier shall accept only payments that cannot be made through IPOPHL’s online payment system, including but not limited to Patent applications and Copyright registrations, replies, services and other requests.

    Deadlines falling from 16 March 2020 to 31 March 2020 initially extended until 31 May 2020, are further extended until 30 June 2020; Deadlines falling from 01 April 2020 to 30 April 2020, initially extended for sixty (60) days, are further extended until 30 June 2020; Deadlines falling from 01 May 2020 to 30 June 2020 will be extended until 30 July 2020 (read more here).

  • Singapore: The Singaporean IP office (IPOS) announced that all filing deadlines that fall between 7 April 2020 to 4 June 2020 will be automatically extended to 5 June 2020. The physical office will be closed, but e-filing services will continue to operate. Business and legal clinics will be conducted via tele-conferencing, while e-appointments will be conducted through telephone calls and/or email (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 Vietnam IP office (IP Viet Nam) informed resumption of receiving applications directly at its office in Hanoi and branch offices in Ho Chi Minh and Danang from 24 April 2020. In the meantime, online applications and application via post are still accepted (read more here).

  • WIPO: The global intellectual property systems and other services of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) are continuing operations, with most staff working remotely under the Organization's business continuity protocols (read more here).