News | 2020-03-26

Legal Alert | Publication of Law no. 1-A/2020, of March 19 allows the suspension of procedural and administrative deadlines before the INPI

Given the exceptional situation in which we live and the proliferation of registered COVID-19 contagion cases, it has become essential to implement extraordinary and urgent measures so that Justice, Courts and administrative services continue to function within the normality possible in a State of Emergency.

This context led to the publication of Law no. 1-A/2020, of 19 March, which approved exceptional and provisional measures with a view to, inter alia, the functioning of administrative services, which include the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), the entity responsible for the protection of industrial property in Portugal.

Article 7 paragraph 6 subparagraph c) of the aforementioned Law states that all procedural and administrative deadlines are suspended until the cessation of the exceptional situation foreseen therein. In effect, this rule applies to the deadlines that run before the INPI and applies from March 12 on.

Additionally, given the importance of maintaining the protection and management of IP Rights in Portugal, INPI is operating within the normality possible, receiving applications for registration, records, renewals and oppositions, among other acts may still be performed at this stage.

Therefore, the deadlines running before the INPI can still be met normally. In other words, even though the deadlines are suspended, if the interested parties intend, during the exception period, to practice acts and pay fees, they may do so, since the INPI will continue to accept these requests, which will be processed as usual.

For example, in the case of a notification by the INPI within the scope of a trademark registration application or in the case of filing a reply to an opposition, both the notification may be answered or the reply filed within the deadline determined for such purpose, regardless the fact of these deadlines being suspended.

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