We wish to kindly keep you abreast of the happenings in the various jurisdictions under our purview:
The value-added tax for goods and services provided in Saudi Arabia which was firstly introduced in January 2018 will be increased from 5% to 15% as of 1 July 2020 as announced by Saudi Minister of Finance which will be added to professional charges for IP services and publication cost of trademarks.
JAH would like to advise its associates/clients that the 20% increase in official fees for trademarks and patents which was announced by the Registrar-General’s Department pursuant to Ghana parliament ratification for the increase of trademarks and patents official fees and which supposed to be put into actual effect on 19 May has been put on hold due to the ravaging effect of COVID-19. The official circular is attached herewith.
MENA jurisdiction measures against the global pandemic (updated 19/05/2020)
AFGANISTAN: All operations suspended until JUNE 1 and deadlines to be met during this period will be automatically extended until the TMO reopens for business.
ALGERIA: Limited working hours as of March 22, 2020. A grace period of one month will be granted once business is back to usual. IP transactions are available but for limited cases. General lockdown till 30 May and Courts are still closed.
BAHRAIN: The TMO is functioning normally. No extension of deadlines announced as all necessary documents are submitted online.
DJIBOUTI: All operations suspended until further notice and deadlines to be met during this period will be automatically extended until the TMO reopens for business.
ETHIOPIA: Trademark & Patent office is partially operational. Official documents can be submitted to the TOP Office as usual.
EGYPT: As of 10 May 2020, the TM Office started normal operations with all staff members and with full working hours; however, ten cases are allowed daily for every agent. As of 26 May 2020, IP Offices will resume usual activities with all staff members and full working hours and without any limitations.
GAZA: Fully operational as of 3 May 2020 with except to Tuesday which will be for internal work and not for receiving applications from agent.
IRAQ: TMO started partial operations on 27 April 2020 with limited working hours and reduced staff number. All trademark transactions are available except trademark searches and filing new trademark applications. Patent transactions are not available except cases with deadlines.
IRAN: TMO working hours reduced with most staff working remotely. No extension of deadlines announced yet as all IP transactions are available.
JORDAN: Complete lockdown until 23 May and all legal deadlines have been extended to the same date due to force majeure. However, the TMO started partial operations with limited working hours and reduced numbers of staff as of 27 April 2020 and therefore, it has now become possible to undertake IP cases online though with some delay in processing without the necessary documents at the time of filing new trademark applications. Payment of official publication and registration fees and issuance of registration certificates is still suspended. It has been announced by Official Resources that all government sector will resume usual activities as of 26 may and therefore all IP transactions will be available normally as of the above date.
KURDISTAN (North Iraq): All IP activities have been resumed as usual with applying health precautions as of 11 May 2020.
KUWAIT: All operations suspended until May 30, 2020 and all deadlines related to IP prosecution and litigations have been extended as of 12 March to the date to be decided on resuming of usual operations of the TMO. IPO is totally closed and no IP transactions available including online activities.
LEBANON: Complete shutdown till May 26, 2020; but the IPO has partially resumed activities in rotation with limited staff from 6 April prioritizing cases with deadlines, renewals and annuities. No extensions announced. During this time any procedure can be undertaken without the necessary documents.
LIBYA: The TMO Is operating partially with reduced number of hours and no extensions announced yet. All IP transactions are available without the necessary documents at the time of submission.
MOROCCO: The TMO is functional for all online services with recordals being suspended for the time being until 20 May and deadlines involved are suspended until further notice.
OMAN: All operations suspended until further notice and deadlines to be met during this period will be automatically extended until the TMO reopens for business.
PAKISTAN: All IP Offices have opened on May 11, 2020 for public dealings and handling all IP transactions are now available with exception to attending hearing sessions in opposition cases which are still suspended.
QATAR: The PTO is functioning with reduced number of hours with only 20% of staff working at office and rest working remotely; they are only accepting physical requests for renewals and oppositions. All actions to be undertaken online continue without hindrance whilst assignment/license/amendment of form of the mark/obtaining certificates/copy of application actions are suspended until further notice.
SAUDI ARABIA: The TMO is functioning normally as most of IP transactions are undertaken online with submission of requisite documents online. Official deadlines, submission of documents have been extended until 30 May; however, during this time any procedure can be undertaken without the necessary documents. E-copies of notarized and legalized documents only can be submitted within the new deadline to be announced by Saudi Intellectual Property Office at a later stage.
SUDAN: All operations suspended until 19 May 2020 and deadlines have been extended to the same date. No IP transactions are currently available.
SYRIA: All operations suspended until further notice and deadlines to be met during this period will be automatically extended until the TMO reopens for business.
TUNISIA: Economic activities are resumed normally as of 4 May and IP transactions are available normally as of above date.
TURKEY: The TMO is operational and accepting only online flings. All deadlines as of 13 March have been frozen and extended to 15 June 2020.
UAE: The TMO is functioning normally as all functions including hearing session are undertaken online or by email and necessary documents are submitted by email/upload. No extension of deadlines announced yet. Actions requiring legalized documents can be filed without necessary documents which can be submitted later.
WEST BANK: All operations are suspended until 5 June 2020 and deadlines to be met during this period will be automatically extended until the TMO reopens for business.
YEMEN: The TMO is functioning normally; no extension of deadlines announced yet; however legalized documents are no longer required and can submitted at a later stage and applications can be submitted with simply signed powers of attorney whilst certificates and opposition decisions shall be withheld until legalized powers of attorney are submitted.
JAH & Co. IP