Zimbabwe: IPAS back on track

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After a halt in online operations at the Zimbabwean Registry, it has now returned to business as usual, with the Registry’s Automated Industrial Property System (IPAS) being operational again as of May 7, 2021.

Although this is a step in the right direction, currently all ZIPO staff are engaged in data entry of applications filed in 2020. The Controller of Patents, Trademarks and Industrial Designs has reported that WIPO has activated the IPAS system to allow the allocation of the 2020 filing. dates of files filed that year and ZIPO plans to complete the 2020 file data entry exercise by the end of May 2021. Subsequently, ZIPO will start processing applications submitted in 2021.

Zimbabwe remains under a Level II lockdown, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Registry continues to operate with limited capacity at this stage, not allowing among othersfor the submission of documents between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and by limiting searches to a maximum of 5 searches per day and per company.

Despite the operational constraints faced by ZIPO, the Controller of Patents, Trademarks and Industrial Designs has been requested to provide a detailed update on various issues, including the timelines and strategy proposed by ZIPO to tackle the Backlog of filings and other office processes and practitioners are anticipating positive feedback from the Registry in the coming months

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