The Decree Law 16/2020 published on 15 April 2020, established that all acts at the Industrial Property Office must be submitted exclusively through the online services.
In result of this limitation, the time limits for any acts near the IP Office that were suspended due to the Law 1-A/2020 of 19 March 2020, will resume its normal counting.
This in fact is a consequence of Law 4-A/2020 of 6 April 2020, which determined that the time limits concerning the acts performed exclusively online at the PTO would not be suspended.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the Portuguese Parliament and Government have adopted a number of exceptional and transitional measures. Initially the time limits at the Portuguese IP Office were suspended together with other “administrative deadlines” and court proceedings deadlines (article 7 of Law 1-A/2020).
However by mid-April the Government considered desirable that, despite all existing limitations, the economy continues to function, as far as possible, by the practice of acts at a distance. Consequently it was decided (i) to limit the filing of procedures at the IP Office to electronic means only, until 30 June 2020 and (ii) revoke the suspension of deadlines.
The IP Office has made available in its website a few FAQ (in Portuguese only) about the suspension of time limits in the IP procedures.
According to the IP Office interpretation, the time limits were suspended between 12 March and 15 April 2020 and have resumed counting on 16 April 2020. The calculation of deadlines must bear in mind the suspension period.
Another important change is that as from 16 April 2020 there is no more the possibility to file requests, payment of fees or applications of any kind in paper format. Also notifications of parties in procedures will be made in preference by e-mail.
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