MyIPO operations in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic

Malaysia
  • From 18 March 2020, all government offices and businesses, with the exception of those offering essential services, were forced to close
  • Following the implementation of a Conditional Movement Control Order, as of 8 May 2020 MyIPO resumed operations in stages and on a limited basis
  • Customer service counters are open at MyIPO’s headquarters and selected branches on Tuesdays and Thursdays during limited hours for filings with payment only

 

To curb the spread of covid-19, the Malaysian government had imposed a Movement Control Order (MCO) over the initial period of 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020; all government offices and businesses, with the exception of those offering essential services, were forced to close. In line with the MCO, the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) immediately announced that its customer service counter at its Kuala Lumpur headquarters and all branch offices would be closed, and that all physical documents would not be accepted by MyIPO during this period. New trademark filings and certain limited transactions were still available online, while deadlines for all office actions - including appeals, oppositions and payments - were automatically deferred to new dates.  

Further to extending the MCO to 12 May 2020, Malaysia saw a drop in new covid-19 cases. Due to the improving situation, on 1 May 2020 the government announced the implementation of a Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) whereby, effective from 4 May 2020, most economic sectors and business activities were allowed to resume operations, subject to applicable conditions and the implementation of strict standard operating procedures. As such, as of 8 May 2020, MyIPO has resumed operations in stages and on a limited basis until further notice.

The following is a summary of MyIPO’s current operations in relation to trademark matters during the CMCO period, which is in effect until 9 June 2020 (subject to further extension):

  • Customer service counters are open at MyIPO’s headquarters and selected branches on Tuesdays and Thursdays during limited hours for the purpose of filings with payment only. Pre-appointments are required at MyIPO’s headquarters.  
  • Manual filings related to priority date claims which fall during the MCO and CMCO periods are automatically extended to “the first following working day” in accordance with Article 4(C)(3) of the Paris Convention (ie, 10 June 2020).
  • New filings continue to be available online.
  • Deadlines for renewals due between 27 December 2019 and 15 June 2020 are extended to 16 June 2020.
  • Deadlines for office actions, including all appeals, oppositions and payments, are extended to 16 June 2020.
  • Hearing sessions scheduled during the MCO and CMCO periods are suspended until the end of such periods. It is currently unknown when such sessions will be rescheduled or how they will be conducted.
  • Certain types of applications under the repealed Trademarks Act 1976 and Trademarks Act 2019 are available in accordance with Practice Direction No 1/2020, which authorises payment by bank or interbank transfer and provides detailed instructions on MyIPO email notification processes. Some available transactions include requests for advertisement, amendment applications, requests for extension of time, renewals and international trademark filings via the Madrid System.
  • Requests for certified true copies of documents are suspended until the end of the CMCO period.
  • Unless specifically excluded, the issuance and acceptance of physical documents during the CMCO period remain suspended.

This information was accurate as of the time of writing. Changes may be made in accordance with the unfolding of the covid-19 pandemic.

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