End of deadlines suspension and other alterations by the Portuguese IP Office

On April 16, 2020, the counting of deadlines for the practice of acts by private individuals that had been suspended since the publication of Law no. 1-A/2020, which entered into force on March 12, 2020, as restarted.

The recent Law no. 4-A / 2020, of April 6, changed the wording of article 7 of Law no. 1-A/2020, inserting the paragraph 12, which provides that deadlines related to the practice of acts carried out exclusively electronically within the scope of the duties of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) are not suspended. Subsequently, the Decree-Law no. 16/2020, of April 15, came to determine in article 14 that the practice of acts before the Institute must be done exclusively through the online services available on the IPO website, not being admissible the practice of acts through hardcopies. In this sense, it appears that the new paragraph 12 of article 7 of Law no. 1-A / 2020, introduced by Law no. 4-A / 2020, is applicable as a result of article 14 of Decree-Law no. 16/2020, therefore as of April 16, 2020, date of entry into force of said Decree-Law.

Thus, it is concluded that the deadlines suspension for the practice of acts by private individuals before the Portuguese IP Office/IPO took place between March 12, 2020 and April 15, 2020. The counting of deadlines for the practice of acts by private individuals that were still running on March 12, 2020, has begun from April 16, 2020. In article 15, the Decree-Law no. 16/2020 also provides that the Portuguese IP Office/IPO will start to notify all interested parties preferably by email. Said notification shall be sent to the email address previously provided by the users on their last acts.

In this way, the Portuguese IP Office/IPO warns that all users make sure that the addresses previously indicated remain valid, providing the possibility to change the data free of charge through the Institute's online services using the “rectification” act, which does not require digital signature.

This decision regarding the form of the practice of the acts and the notifications related to the Portuguese IP Office/IPO take effect from April 16, 2020 and will remain in effect until June 30, 2020.

The official notice made by the National Institute of Industrial Property on the aforementioned subjects can be found in the news (in portuguese) published on April 15, 2020. Furthermore, to clear all doubts that may arise it is possible to access the Frequently Asked Questions section of the PTO’s website and select category “End of suspension of deadlines”.

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