On March 23, 2016, the International Bureau (IB) deployed the Madrid International Registrations Information System (MIRIS) – a modern IT platform, designed to support the ongoing operational needs of the Madrid System and to reinforce online services for users.
Initially, it was anticipated that the transition to the new system would only impact the Madrid Registry’s operational performance for a few weeks and have minimal impact on users. However, it is now clear that the transition period will take longer than expected. Users may be affected during this extended transition period.
Introduction to the Madrid System and WIPO
Users can be assured that all possible measures are being taken to ensure that the Madrid Registry returns to full operational mode as soon as possible!
Guidance on the most important issues affecting the system, how these issues are likely to impact users, and the measures the Madrid Registry has taken to safeguard user interests, is provided below.
The Madrid Registry’s examination output is currently reduced, while further work is undertaken to solve outstanding MIRIS deployment issues. It is expected that improvements will be made for the bulk of the workload within a matter of weeks. However, some of the issues affecting more complex transactions will take longer to fix.
The status of any pending request can be monitored through Madrid Real-Time Status.
Transmittals of provisional refusals
Transmittals of provisional refusals were suspended for several weeks following migration, while special quality control processes were applied. However, all known issues have now been resolved and most transmittals of refusals are once again being made normally.
The Madrid Registry has taken special care to ensure that transmittal of provisional refusals to holders were dispatched with the fewest possible delays, taking into account deadlines for responses set by designated Contracting Parties. Users who have received late notifications of provisional refusals, and whose ability to meet the deadlines set for responses by designated Contracting Parties is compromised, are invited to contact the Madrid Registry at their earliest convenience.
Irregularity letters concerning international applications, subsequent designations, changes of international registrations and renewals
Quality control processes were also applied to irregularity letters recently, following the initial focus on notifications. As a consequence, no irregularity letters have been sent since March 17, 2016. As issues are being addressed, it is expected that irregularity letters will gradually start being sent over the next few weeks.
Deadlines for responding to irregularity letters are calculated as of the date of communication of the letters in question. Their late communication therefore has no bearing on the time available to respond.
Although the E-Services supporting the Madrid System have remained available throughout the transition to MIRIS, some service instability has been experienced by users. The E-Services are progressively returning to a stable state, and are expected to operate normally within the next few weeks.
Strategy to restore full operational performance
Returning operational performance to a normal level is receiving urgent attention at the highest level within WIPO. The strategy to seek the quickest possible resolution of the issues is two-fold. First, the plan involves reducing the time required to fix outstanding MIRIS issues by rapidly increasing the level of technical development resources. And second, examination resources will be reinforced, with a view to reducing the backlog as soon as MIRIS has been stabilized.
Similar communications will be issued on a regular basis to provide updates on progress.
The Madrid System and its Users
Waiting times for responses by phone or mail may be longer than usual, following an increase in queries. To the extent possible, the Madrid Registry will increase the resource levels devoted to customer support services.
Source: WIPO Press Release, May 17