Covid-19 extraordinary measures: IP prosecution and enforcement actions suspended
- Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government ordered various extraordinary measures through an emergency decree published on 15 March 2020
- Among other things, the terms of ongoing administrative procedures were suspended for 30 business days
- This had a direct impact on all procedures pending at the Trademark, Copyright and Patent Offices
On 11 March 2020 a national health emergency was declared through Supreme Decree 008-2020-SA for 90 calendar days due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To prevent the spread of the virus, one of the control and prevention measures was that the competent authorities should evaluate the risks associated with carrying out activities that bring people together in public and private spaces.
As a consequence, the Public District Attorney’s Office and the judiciary suspended all activities involving a large concentration of people. Orders were issued through Resolution of the National Prosecutor's Office 581-2020-MP-F and Administrative Resolution 102-2020-CE-PJ, published on 12 March 2020.
However, due to the increase in the number of infected people, the Peruvian government ordered, through Emergency Decree 026-2020 (published on 15 March 2020), various extraordinary measures. The main measures are as follows:
- The terms of ongoing administrative procedures were suspended for 30 business days;
- The terms related to actions of the bodies of the Financial Administration of the Public Sector were suspended for 30 business days;
- The Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion must develop a Support Network for the Elderly at High Risk and Persons with Severe Disabilities;
- The Urban Transport Authority must carry out prevention, cleaning and disinfection actions with regard to public transport units;
- An extraordinary bonus will be granted to health and care personnel;
- Biosecurity actions will be funded, physical spaces will be set up and the health service will be strengthened;
- A telephone exchange (line 113) will be set up to take samples home; and
- The Ministry of Education must purchase hygiene kits for public universities.
The first measure has a direct impact on all complaints, infringement claims, applications and oppositions filed before the Trademark, Copyright and Patent Offices. The day following the publication of the measures, the National Institute for the Defence of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) issued an official announcement through its official website expressly indicating such impact. Similarly, the Peruvian Customs Office suspended all ex officio notifications of imports of goods suspected of infringing IP rights in all ports.
In addition, in order to ensure the application of the measures, a state of emergency and mandatory social isolation were declared and ordered through Supreme Decree 044-2020-PCM (extraordinarily published on 15 March 2020). In accordance with Article 139 of the Peruvian Political Constitution, a state of emergency means that the exercise of some constitutional rights (personal freedom, personal security, inviolability of private property, freedom of assembly and freedom of transit in the territory) is restricted. As a consequence, the Peruvian Armed Forces and the Peruvian National Police have assumed the control of internal order in order to comply with these measures.
Only people who provide essential services/goods (food, pharmaceuticals, health data, water, sanitation, electric power, gas, fuel, telecommunications, cleaning, solid waste collection, funeral services, financial entities, hotels and call centres) can exceptionally circulate until the state of emergency ends.
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