/ Chilean Trademark Office takes measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic

24 April, 2020

The Chilean Trademark Office (Inapi) undertook a series of measures to face Covid-19 and the quarantine decreed in various communities of the region. These measures are destined to avoid and contain the spread of the virus, as well as avoid possible negative effects on administrative and dispute procedures due to the health emergency.

Carla Pacheco

Senior Associate Alessandri

The measures are the following:

1) Discontinuance of on-site customer service.

As of the March 07, 2020, Chile’s National Institute of Intellectual Property closed its physical offices, discontinuing in-person services to avoid the propagation of the virus. Services for practically all procedures have begun to be attended 100% online, thus preventing only the filing of original hard copies of documents and of hearings requested unto or by authorities.

2) Measures to facilitate administrative and dispute procedures.

A series of measures were taken to confront the possible contingencies that may arise in administrative or dispute procedures:

– Time extensions for administrative procedures.

– Formal observations allowing the most time possible for submitting Power of Attorney documents.

– The payment of final fees for patents, utility models and industrial designs may be accredited online (including five-year and ten-year terms).

– Payment of official taxes in appeal procedures may be accredited by bank receipt together with the appeal writ.

– Suspension of the evidence stage in dispute procedures.

– Changes in dates to carry out hearings of exhibition of evidence in kind.

– Extension of the timeframe in which to plead obstruction if the cause lies in the restrictions imposed by the authority due to the emergency state of constitutional exception or of the consequences of the health emergency caused by COVID-19.

– Change in criteria regarding suspension of the limitations to institute proceedings in nullity demands, by the mere filing of the demand.

3) Report on technologies which can be found in the public domain in Chile and that are designed to prevent contagion

For its part, the Tribune of Industrial Property has taken the following measures to the same end:

1) On-site services have been discontinued.

2) All types of writs may be filed by e-mail.

3) The number of hearings scheduled to review cases has been reduced.

4) It is possible to submit pleadings through electronic means.

The measures taken by our national authority, particularly by our Trademark Office, reaffirm their leadership in Latin America. This was recognized by the fact that the Chilean IP Office appears in the top ten of the ranking carried out by the prestigious World Trademark Review magazine for the fourth consecutive year, in a study which analyzed aspects related to the added value proposal, online services and public disclosure.