What is the status of mandatory closure in the different public offices?

Country Description
Honduras We inform you that as of August 3rd, 2020, the Honduran Government ordered a gradual reopening of the public sector. We have been informed  that the Trademark & Patent Office will remain closed a few more weeks. All deadlines and legal terms remain suspended/on hold until further notice is issued by the aforementioned office.
Belize Government offices are open and working normally.
Guatemala Government offices are open, however with limited staff.
El Salvador The Trademark and Patent Office resumed activities on June 16th, 2020. However, with limited staff, for that reason, all procedures may be delayed.
Nicaragua Government offices are open and working normally.
Costa Rica Government offices are open and working normally.
Panama The Trademark and Patent Office resumed activities on June 22nd, 2020. However, with limited staff, for that reason, all procedures may be delayed.
Dominican Republic Gradual opening of services. Tha National Office of Industrial Property (ONAPI) has implemented new services digitally. For services not included in the plataform, in a very particualr way, those related to Patents will be attended by appointment during business hours from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Ecuador We have a mandatory quarantine in the whole country since march 16th, 2020. Currently, quarantine is maintained indefinitely.

 

Have all deadlines been suspended during the mandatory closure / quarantine?

Country Description
Honduras All deadlines and due dates during this period will be extended until the Intellectual Property Office resumes its operations, or possibly until the next business day thereof. In case of any changes, we will inform you in a timely manner.
Belize There was no notice from BELIPO regarding suspended deadlines prior to shutdown. Extension of time must be applied for at no cost (professional and official fees waived temporarily) once services are resumed.
Guatemala Deadlines have resumed as of April 13th
El Salvador The deadlines were suspended between March 15th and June 16th, 2020. Each term expired within the national emergency has an extension of 80 more days.
Nicaragua The deadlines have not been suspended.
Costa Rica The deadlines have not been suspended.
Panama Yes, all deadlines suspended during quarantine. The new deadlines are unclear at this moment, but we anticipate at least a 2 week extension of all deadlines after the reopening of the PTO.
Dominican Republic Yes, all deadlines have been suspended. National Office of Industrial Property announced (web site) that deadlines will be counted from the third working day after sanitary emergency estate ends.
Ecuador Yes, all deadlines are suspended and will resume after the reopening of the PTO.

 

Can applications be filed with simple copies? Are originals needed for later filing? Have the terms for doing so been extended?

Country Description
Honduras We can file applications as de facto agents, which would grant us a 30-business day period to file the POA document. According to the Intellectual Property Law, the filing of original documents is mandatory, however, we are currently standing by for the Trademark Office’s official stance in regards to the filing of simple copies or printed copies of the corresponding documentation. For the time being, due to the current situation, we consider that the terms for filing documents are currently on hold. According to indications received by the Director of the Honduran Trademark Office, a 90 business day period will be granted for the filing of the documentation. Said period will begin once the aforementioned offices resumes normal operations.
Belize Government offices are open and working normally.
Guatemala It is not possible to file applications with simple copies of documents. All documents must be submitted in original and duly legalized by the Apostille or Guatemalan Consulate.
El Salvador Yes, we can file applications by attorney in fact, then the Patent Office will request the original POA in 1 month approximately. For trademark applications the Trademark Office will request the original POA in 2 months after the filing of the application.
Nicaragua No, but it is possible to file applications as agents without Power and file the POA within the next 2 calendar months from the application date.
Costa Rica We could file the procedures with simple copies and then, we could request an extension of time to present the original documents.
Panama Once the PTO reopens, a normal procedure will apply, we can use copies, but we will need the original for our files.
Dominican Republic Yes, new applications are filed using on-line services. Original documents will be filed later only if the examiner requires them to be filed; and terms for doing that will be determined along the way.
Ecuador It is possible to file applications with electronic documents. The hard copies of the documents should reach us when possible. There are no deadlines yet.

 

Can applications and documentation be submitted online?

Country Description
Honduras The Honduran Trademark & Patent Office has implemented an online system for trademark applications and renewals, which is working irrespective of the quarantine ordered. Starting June 2nd the admittance of new Patent Applications and Trademark Recordals (Annuities, Rehabilitations, Assignment, Change of Name, Merger etc.) was allowed. Trademark searches are available to be carried out by digital means as of june 10th.
Belize Yes.
Guatemala No.
El Salvador We are not able to submit applications or documentation online.
Nicaragua According to our legal system, we are not able to submit applications nor documentation online.
Costa Rica Not all kind of documents, we only are enabled to submit online: replies for objections, oppositions or amendments.
Panama The Trademark & Patent Office has implemented an online system which is working irrespective of the quarantine ordered. The processing of applications for new trademarks and requests for applications already filed and trademarks through email was implemented. No formalities are received related to applications or registrations of Invention Patents, Utility Models and Industrial Models or Drawings. Online applications directives for patent filings are expected to follow shortly.
Dominican Republic Yes.
Ecuador Yes, for those proceedings that are new and online; for old proceedings not started on line documents must be sent through an email followed by hard copies when possible.

 

Have the deadlines to file an opposition / reply to an objection been extended? If so, what are the new deadlines?

Country Description
Honduras Yes. Due to the current situation, we consider that the terms for filing documents are currently on hold. According to indications received by the Director of the Honduran Trademark Office, a 90 business day period will be granted for the filing of the documentation. Said period will begin once the aforementioned offices resumes normal operations.
Belize No. Extension must be applied for at no cost (professional and official fees waived temporarily).
Guatemala Yes, however, the new deadlines have not yet been established.
El Salvador Yes, all the deadlines that were due during this period will be extended due until the IP office resumes operations.
Nicaragua The current deadlines have not been extended.
Costa Rica The current deadlines have not been extended.
Panama The opposition deadlines are suspended. Right now there are no provisions for extending the deadline, so the deadline will be the first day after reopening. However, we can file Oppositions online (The Opposition are filed in Court and not the PTO).
The deadlines for Objections are suspended and we anticipate at least a 2 week extension of all deadlines after the reopening of the PTO.
Dominican Republic All deadlines have been suspended. New deadlines will be determined by the end of the  sanitary emergency estate.
Ecuador All terms are suspended and the new deadlines will be counted as from the date we resume activities.

 

Have the deadlines to file pending documentation regarding a litigation procedure (i.e. power of attorney, means of proof, affidavits) also been extended?

Country Description
Honduras Yes.
Belize No. Extension must be applied for at no cost (professional and official fees waived temporarily).
Guatemala Yes, however, the new deadlines have not yet been established.
El Salvador Yes.
Nicaragua The current deadlines have not been extended.
Costa Rica We could request an extension of time to present the original documents.
Panama The deadline will restart at the same point we were in the term. For example, if we have 10 days remaining in the deadline, the same 10 days will be available after the reopening.
Dominican Republic Yes.
Ecuador Yes.

 

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