Trademarks Office to install Industrial Property Automation System

United Arab Emirates

The UAE Trademarks Office is due to install the Industrial Property Automation System (IPAS).

The Trademarks Office issued a circular on February 26 2012 advising of an imminent suspension of work due to the implementation of the new software. The result of this suspension is that deadlines which fall on February 29 and March 1 2012 will move forward to the morning of February 29. Rights holders will therefore need to ensure that any deadlines which fall due over this period are met before the suspension of work on February 29 2012. In most cases, extensions of time will not be available.

When calculating deadlines in the UAE, any deadline which falls on a public holiday or another non-working day will automatically roll over to the next working day. Accordingly, since Wednesday February 29 and Thursday March 1 2012 are both working days, any deadlines which fall due on these days will remain unchanged. These deadlines will need to be met by filing by no later than 12 noon on February 29 2012.

Since the weekend in the UAE falls on Friday and Saturday, any deadlines which fall on March 2 or 3 2012 automatically roll over to Sunday March 4 2012.

The reason for the UAE Trademarks Office's suspension of work is to enable it to install IPAS. IPAS is a system developed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation to assist national IP offices that wish to automate their processes. 

This is welcome news for the IP profession and rights holders, at it is the first step towards the UAE Trademarks Office (and other UAE IP departments) moving towards online filing, as well as other online services. It is understood that the UAE officials will use and test the system over the coming months, before opening up access to the public.

Jon Parker and Rob Deans, Clyde & Co, Dubai

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