- Published: 16 April 2020
Update! All intellectual property deadlines have been re-established as of July 16, 2020.
Dear Clients and Friends,
Due to the sanitary emergency caused by COVID-19, the Ecuadorian government has partially resumed services after the lockdown and the deadline suspension has ended.
At BERMEO & BERMEO our main priority is the health of our team, the society and our clients. Since we have the software and capability to do most of our work remotely, we have developed a COVID-19 contingency plan in order to actively and continuously attend to all your requirements, guaranteeing business continuity and quality service:
- The deadlines at the IP Office were suspended from March 15 to July 15, 2020. All deadlines have now been restored.
- Deadlines that are counted in months, years were interrupted and will now resume counting. In some matters it is currently unclear whether the suspended months count toward the deadline.
- In general terms, we suggest complying with the regular deadlines with plenty of time unless there is an extraordinary delay.
- Trademark clearance and knockout searches are being done in our proprietary software. The IP Office's publicly available database is limited.
- Some files are very old and there is the need to access the physical files at the IP Office, we need to schedule meetings in order to access these files.
- Design searches. These searches may be done in private databases as access to the files continues to be restricted. Reliability of the results is limited.
- New filing instructions are received and processed normally online. Not all the procedure is electronic, so we continue to work in batches to minimize the mandatory visits to the bank.
- Power of Attorney: A PoA may be filed belated within 60 days of the IP Office request. The deadlines have now resumed.
- Considering the large number of deadlines, if documents are not received when the deadline approaches, we will automatically request an extension free of charge.
- Priorities: Deadlines to file the physical priority documents are now reestablished.
- These deadlines are counted in business days and are counted normally again.
- If deadlines approach, we have waived our fees to request extensions so we will request them automatically.
- The publication of the Official IP Gazette has been resumed.
- Registration certificates are being issued electronically.
- Corrections need to be filed on paper and are delayed as the IP Office partially resumes its physical activities.
- There is a regular grace period of 6 months after the expiration of the mark.
- If the expiration of the mark ended during the suspension, the grace period will start running from July 16, 2020.
- There is still unclear policy if the grace period expired during the suspension. A case by case study is required.
UPDATES OF OWNERSHIP
- Applications to record Changes of name, address or assignments may be also be filed electronically, and the PoA belated.
- These deadlines are counted in business days. If we do not receive instructions, we may request extensions at NO additional cost.
- Renewal and recordal certificates are still being issued on paper. There was a strong delay before the emergency, and with a partial reopening, the backlog has increased.
OPPOSITIONS & LITIGATION: New Opposition Deadlines!
- Opposition deadlines have been reestablished as from May 26, 2020 check the next opposition deadlines in the calendar below:
- Considering the bureaucratic procedures we will need your instructions well in advance in order to prepare all the paperwork.
- Oppositions, evidence, arguments and appeals are filed online.
- Scanned documentation is still accepted, however all the originals must be submitted.
- Appeals: Deadlines for appeals are counted in business days.
- Infringement actions: These actions may be filed online; however, we expect long delays before these are served on the other parties or the inspections are granted.
- Most deadlines are counted in business days. Courts have partially resumed activities from June 15,2020. Online filings are now available.
While this is a summary for general information purposes, each matter needs to be reviewed on a case by case basis, this is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.
All matters are receiving our attention, and we will personally make sure that urgent and special matters are dealt with the highest priority.
Finally, we know that distancing ourselves today is the best way to take care of each other, however our commitment is to work day by day so that you can feel us closer.