India: COVID-19 Update: Extension of Deadlines to May 04, 2020
As you may know, the Government of India had announced a countrywide lockdown of 21 days to combat the spread of COVID-19, beginning March 25, 2020 and accordingly the IPO had announced extension of deadlines to April 15, 2020.
The Government of India has now extended the lockdown till May 03, 2020 vide order no. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 14th April, 2020 of Ministry of Home Affairs. Accordingly, the IPO has also announced extension in the relaxations provided by its notification dated March 25, 2020.
In compliance with the Government's order, our teams are working remotely with robust IT systems in place and we continue to serve clients in the usual manner. Please note that e-filing services of the IPO remain un-affected during the lockdown.
In effect, please note the following:
1) Cases with deadlines on or before May 3, 2020 shall have a new deadline now, that is May 4, 2020. Please continue to provide timely instructions to meet the original deadline as far as possible (as deadlines have not been extended in IPO software yet and it would be more complicated in cases of delayed filing with respect to normally non-extendable deadlines such as PCT National phase deadline, convention application deadline, request for examination deadline, annuity deadline, OA response deadline, opposition/ counter statement deadline etc.). In case of other deadlines such as for filing power of attorney, affidavits, proof of right to file patent applications/ signed form-1, evidence etc., these can be delayed as the IPO software does not have hard deadlines for filing these documents. Please provide your instructions by April 29, 2020 (if possible) to meet the extended deadline of May 4, 2020.
2) Cases with deadline on May 4, 2020 or thereafter: There is no change in these deadlines so please continue to provide instructions in a timely manner.
3) Hearings: All the hearings scheduled before Intellectual Property Office until May 3, 2020 stand adjourned and fresh hearings will be appointed at a later date.
4) Original documents: Where you need to send us original documents, we may face a delay in receiving the same and a special petition may be filed later for condoning such delay (IPO may later also bring out a specific policy for this situation).
Please feel free to contact us for any clarifications and we shall keep you posted on any further developments.