COVID-19: effects on IP practice in Africa and the Caribbean

Please see below a summary of disruptions at the Intellectual Property Offices and Courts in the territories that we cover, Africa and the Caribbean. We are working closely with our local offices and associates across both regions and will update the tables below as developments arise.

 

AFRICA

Territory

Closures / suspensions

Algeria

The first instance tribunals have been suspended although the Appeal Court is still functioning. The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Angola

Courts and The Registry have resumed operations with minimal staff until further notice.

ARIPO

Court hearings have been suspended. The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) headquarters is closed to the public until further notice. The Registry's online service is fully operational.

Botswana

Courts and The Registry have resumed operations.

Djibouti

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry remains open with minimal staff.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry remains open with minimal staff.

Egypt

Court hearings have been suspended but administrative matters, including meeting deadlines to file an appeal to court, are still possible. The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Eswatini

Courts and The Registry have resumed operations.

Ethiopia

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Gambia

Courts and The Registry have resumed operations at reduced capacity.

Ghana

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Kenya

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry remains operational.

Liberia

Courts and The Registry have resumed operations.

Libya

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry is closed, but priority applications and renewals falling due during this crisis period are being accepted. No other matter can be attended to.

Lesotho

Courts and The Registry have resumed operations.

Madagascar

Courts and The Registry have resumed operations.

Malawi

Courts and The Registry are operating with minimal staff and prioritise emergency matters only.

Mauritius

Court hearings have been suspended.  The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff and strict restrictions.

Morocco

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry remains open.

Mozambique

Courts and The Registry have resumed operations.

Namibia

Courts have resumed operations. The Registry has resumed partial operations and electronic filing is available.

Nigeria

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry is closed until further notice; online filing is recommended.

OAPI

Court hearings have been suspended. The African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) is open, but public access to OAPI buildings is restricted.

Rwanda

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Seychelles

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed partial operations with minimal staff. All matters can be attended to but delays are to be expected.

South Africa

Court hearings have been suspended.  The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Sudan

Court hearings have been suspended.  The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Tanzania

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Tunisia

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Uganda

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Zimbabwe

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed partial operations at reduced capacity.

ARIPO continues normal operations online during this period.

The ARIPO member countries are:  Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe

The OAPI member countries are:  Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Republic of), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo and the Union of the Comoros

 

 

CARIBBEAN

Territory

Closures / suspensions

Anguilla

Court hearings have been suspended.  The Registry is closed until further notice.

Antigua and Barbuda

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations with strict restrictions.

Bahamas

Courts have resumed operations. The Registry has resumed operations.

Barbados

Court hearings have been suspended.  The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Belize

Courts and The Registry have resumed operations.

Bermuda

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations with limited functions.

British Virgin Islands

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry is closed until further notice but electronic filing is available.

Cayman Islands

Courts and The Registry have resumed operations.

Cuba

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations.

Dominican Republic

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations but is open to public only with strict restrictions. Matters dealt with through the ONAPI platform should continue to be carried out through the platform.

Grenada

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations.

Guyana

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 4 hours only.

Puerto Rico

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry is closed until further notice.

Seychelles

Court hearings have been suspended.  The Registry is closed until further notice.

St Kitts & Nevis

Court hearings have been suspended. Registry is open only on Tuesdays and Fridays 9am - 1pm.

St Lucia

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry has resumed operations with minimal staff.

Suriname

Court hearings have been suspended.  The Registry is closed until further notice.

Turks & Caicos

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry is closed until further notice.

Trinidad & Tobago

Court hearings have been suspended. The Registry is open only one day per week and mostly operating remotely.

Date published: 20 March 2020; updated daily
Author: Spoor & Fisher

Tags: closures Intellectual Property Offices and Courts trade marks patents Africa the Caribbean COVID-19