South Africa: The South African Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is open for business
As previously advised, a national “hard” lockdown was effective in South Africa until 30 April. From 1 May an alert system was introduced, having levels from 5 down to 1, with Level 5 being total lockdown. South Africa is now on Level 4 and certain relaxations have come into effect as a result. Specified types of businesses (such as legal services) have been permitted to reopen but staffing levels are restricted to a maximum of 30% of our usual complement. We therefore now have limited staff at our offices, while the remainder continue to work remotely.
The South African Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) was closed to the public from Wednesday 25 March until Thursday 30 April. The days of closure were all declared dies non. Friday 1 May was a public holiday in South Africa, and therefore also a dies non, so all deadlines falling due within the period of closure were in effect extended until 4 May.
CIPC reactivated their online systems on 1 May, filing of all types of IP applications has again become possible as from 4 May. As CIPC is now also operating with a reduced staffing complement it is likely that delays will be experienced in the processing of new applications, and prosecution of currently pending applications.