Business Continuity Update from Ella Cheong – 6 April 2020

Business Continuity Update from Ella Cheong – 6 April 2020

Dear friends and colleagues,

With the worsening situation in Singapore and Malaysia in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, further steps are being taken. Please note the updates below:

Singapore update: With effect from 7 April 2020 till 4 May 2020 (inclusive), subject to any further extension if deemed necessary, all non-essential businesses are required to completely close. Legal services are deemed essential services and we remain able to perform limited activities despite the closure of our office premises. We expect our Singapore office to re-open on 5 May 2020 subject to further government directives. The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) will also be closed and all statutory deadlines due between 7 April 2020 to 7 May 2020 (inclusive) are generally postponed to 8 May 2020. However, applications and necessary electronic communication with IPOS remain available, and the postponement does not apply to the claiming of any priority deadline falling due within the aforementioned period unless the Convention application is filed on 8 May 2020 manually. The postponement also does not apply to certain other international treaty deadlines, e.g. those prescribed by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

We have been preparing for the above office closure eventuality since February, and confirm that we are fully equipped to attend to necessary applications/communication with IPOS during this period.

Malaysia update: The nation-wide lockdown of Malaysia has been extended to 14 April 2020. The Malaysian Intellectual Property Office (MyIPO) and our Kuala Lumpur office remain closed until 14 April 2020, with an expectation to re-open on 15 April 2020, subject to further government directives. Deadlines falling due during the lockdown period are generally further extended as follows:

  • Priority deadlines for manual patent and design filings are extended to 15 April 2020
  • Priority deadlines for manual trade mark filings are extended to 20 April 2020 (but applicants are strongly encouraged by MyIPO to file by 15 April 2020)
  • Trade mark office action and opposition deadlines are extended to 30 April 2020
  • Patent and design renewals falling due are extended to 30 April 2020
  • Trade marks renewal deadlines expiring between 27 December 2019 and 27 March 2020 may be renewed by 30 April 2020

Our business goes on for our clients

Our colleagues with whom you have been communicating will continue to look after your matters. They remain contactable for assistance by email. Should you have any queries regarding the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Directors, Mr. Soh Kar Liang() and Mr. Kevin Wong()

In the meantime, to you, your colleagues and your family, please do take care and stay safe.