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News blog4 August 20215 min read

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

(last Update: 4 August 2021)

  • Brunei: The Brunei’s IP Office (BruIPO) updated its services operating hours from 8.00AM -12.00PM and 2.00PM - 3.00PM, Monday to Thursday; and 8.00AM to 11.00AM on Saturday (read more here).
  • Cambodia: In response to the rise in Covid-19 infections, on March 8th 2021, Prime Minister Hun Sen issued an order calling on government offices to stop activities or reduce the number of on-site employees to work from home when possible.

    The Department of Intellectual Property Rights previously requested registered agents to make use of the improved e-filing system for trademarks as much as feasible. As the cases of infections develop, restrictions may be lifted or reinforced; it is recommended to verify the current status of services directly with the relevant government agency (read more here).
  • Indonesia: During the covid-19 pandemic, the Indonesia’s Director General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) has continuously improved the online system and added new features to covers almost all aspects of the registration process, from searching or filing to post-filing for patents, trade marks, designs and copyrights to encourage IP protection despite the disruption. Virtual counters were established by May 2020 to support patent annuity and excess fee payments during substantive examination. The Indonesia patent office now sends examination letters to local agents via email, keeping the pace of patent prosecution in the jurisdiction steady (read more here).

    In particular, Indonesia adjusts compulsory licensing guidelines in preparation for eventual COVID-19 Vaccine. According to the new Presidential Regulation No. 77/2020 regarding Procedures of Patent Implementation by the Government, which took effect on July 8, 2020, the government may exercise compulsory licensing on a patent for one of two broad reasons: national defense and security (in which case the patent can only be used by the government or its appointed party), or an urgent public need. The urgent public is considered to relate to pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, chemical products, animal medicine and processes or products needed to deal with natural or environmental disasters (read more here).
  • Laos: Laos’ Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) is still open. Applications and documents are still being processed. Online filing has not been available in Laos yet (read more here).
  • Malaysia: Following the Movement Control Order 3.0 – Total lockdown in Malaysia, all government and private offices and businesses, save for essential services, are required to close their premises during this period. Accordingly, the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) issued an Operating Guideline during this lockdown. The submission of physical documents, hearings, applications for certified true copies of documents, and other matters which require the physical submission of documents or attendance cannot be done until after the end of the lockdown. However, the majority of trademark, patent, industrial design and copyright matters may still be proceeded. New applications, applications for renewal, submission of documents and a large number of forms can still be filed via MyIPO’s IP Online platform or email filing as provided for by MyIPO’s Practice Direction No. 2/2020 during the lockdown (read more here).
  • Myanmar: Refiling of registered trademarks started from 1 October 2020 under Order No. 63/2020 of the Ministry of Commerce of Myanmar and it will run for a period (the Soft Opening Period) until the effective date of the Myanmar Trademark Law 2019 to be announced by the President of Myanmar. Despite of uncertain situation in Myanmar now, the refiling of registered trademarks through the online filing system of the Myanmar’s Department of Intellectual Property (IPD) is still possible (read more here).
  • The Philippines: Following the extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) announced that they will continue implementing alternative work arrangement (combined work from home and skeleton workforce at its main office).

    All filings, submissions, and payments are encouraged to be filed online through IPOPHL’s online portal. In particular, IPOPHL’s eTMFile for trademarks, eInventionfile for patents, eUMfile for utility models, and eIDfile for industrial designs are platforms that can facilitate the filing of the applications—from submission of documents to payment—and are accessible through IPOPHL’s website (read more here).
  • Singapore: Following the announcement by the Government on Phase 2 Heightened Alert, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) continues processing its services online. The applicant can continue to use the online portal IP2SG and mobile app IPOS Go to file applications. For payment requests or submissions not available on IP2SG , the applicant may lodge them via FormSG (read more here).
  • Thailand: The Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) is open. The DIP encourages customers to use electronic filing systems.

    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: Amid Vietnam's fourth wave of COVID-19, the Vietnam IP Office (IPVN) has temporarily suspended receiving paper-based applications and documents directly filed at their offices.  Applicants and IP agents are guided to do all submissions through e-filing system or via postal services. There is currently no direct online payment featured on the e-filing system of the IPVN, and payment of official fees has to be made by bank transfer to the State Treasury (read more here).

    Extended deadline: all procedures relating to the industrial property prosecution, i.e., priority claim, document submission, response to decisions/notifications from the IPVN, renewal, fees payment, and appeal, are due from 30 June 2021 to 31 August 2021, will be automatically extended to 30 September 2021 (read more here).

    Fee discount: IPVN continues to apply a discount of 50% IP fees in order to support and remove difficulties for those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, from 01 July 2021 to 31 December 2021. List of fees applicable for 50% discount are specified in the Section A of the Circular 263/2016/TT-BTC dated 14 November 2016 (read more here).
  • WIPO: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launches a tool to Track IP Policy Information in Member States during COVID-19 Pandemic which is so-called COVID-19 IP Policy Tracker. This Tracker provides information on measures adopted by IP offices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the extension of deadlines. In addition, the policy tracker provides information on legislative and regulatory measures for access and voluntary actions (read more here).


Publication date
4 August 2021