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CIPC Update: The Big File Move

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An update from the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC)

On 26 July 2021 the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (“CIPC”) began the daunting task of moving close to 7.2 million companies, close corporations, patents, trade marks, copyright, cooperatives and design files to a new off-site storage facility. The goal is to have all the files moved, verified and captured within a 4-month timeframe.

Despite the fluctuating levels of the national lockdown and the associated restrictions in South Africa, the task of moving more than 7 million files in 4 months is right on track. One month into the big move and CIPC announced that close to 25% of the files have been moved to the new facility.

No move is ever without hiccups or bumps in the road and there are unfortunately delays in the requesting and retrieval of files. We are advised by CIPC that for the duration of the move they are unable to request and receive requested files, which is likely to lead to a delay in the prosecution of applications. CIPC and their service providers are however working around the clock to minimize any disruptions caused and ensure that they stay on schedule.

From our end we are continuously liaising with CIPC to ensure that we remain aware, updated and on top of any delays and to try to negate them where possible, in order to continue to render effective and efficient services to our clients and associates.

As we head into the second month of the move, we are excited for the progress CIPC will make and we remain in close contact with CIPC. Rest assured, throughout the move we remain at your disposal.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Adriaan Heyns, Attorney, Trademark Department, reviewed by Adré Pretorius, Trademark Attorney.