Deadlines for the practice of acts at the Portuguese Industrial Property Office (INPI) active again

Further to the information published by Abreu Advogados on the suspension of procedural deadlines set by the Portuguese Industrial Property Office (INPI), below are the latest legislative changes affecting industrial property law.

Law 1-A/2020, of 19 March implemented the judicial holiday legal regime during this exceptional situation of prevention, containment, mitigation and treatment of the epidemiological infection caused by SARS-COV-2 and of the COVID-19. Article 7(6)(c) of said law established that this legal regime shall also apply, mutatis mutandis, to the administrative deadlines running in favour of interested parties.

The legal deadlines for carrying out acts at INPI have been suspended from 12 March 2020 until the date suspension is lifted still to be defined by decree-law.

Law 4-A/2020 amended Law 1-A/2020, of 19 March, with Article 7(12) now establishing that the legal deadlines for carrying out acts exclusively online, within the scope of the INPI’s duties, are not suspended. This amendment, however, did not provide for procedural acts not exclusively carried out online.

As such, Decree-Law 16/2020, of 15 April in article 14 now determines that “all acts related with INPI, I.P. must be submitted exclusively online by using the services available on the INPI website”.

Under this amendment, the suspension of INPI legal deadlines running in favour of interested parties was lifted (as of 16-04-2020), and the time limits in progress at the time of the suspension (12 March) are now running once again.

We would, therefore, like to draw the attention of our readers to the fact that the legal deadlines to practice any acts at the INPI will start running again from 16 April 2020 and, as a result, the deadlines stipulated in the Industrial Property Code running in favour of interested parties and those stipulated in notices sent by the INPI must be complied with, subject to a lateness penalty.

No procedural acts in paper format may be carried out until, at least, 30 June, the date until which the Decree-Law will be in force.

We would also like to highlight that the INPI will now be sending notices to interested parties electronically, to the e-mail addresses indicated at the time the previous acts were practiced at the Office. It is, therefore, important that you confirm that these addresses are still valid.