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Jul 17, 2020

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s COVID-19 Response

By Erica L. Lowthers, PhD

Like many other jurisdictions, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has implemented extensions of time for certain deadlines relating to patents, industrial designs and trademarks due to COVID-19. These extensions have been ongoing since March 16, 2020, and are currently set to end on August 7, 2020, meaning that certain due dates falling between March 16 and August 7, inclusive, are automatically extended to August 10. It is possible that further extensions will be provided. The CIPO website details how CIPO operations are being modified in view of COVID-19.

Despite these extensions being available, we recommend that all original due dates be met if possible. The extensions do not apply to all due dates and, in some cases, extensions are only available up to certain maximum time periods. Please reach out to one of our professionals if you need to discuss a particular matter.

CIPO remains open for business, but has warned of significant delays in their services while most of their staff is working remotely.

In order to encourage innovation surrounding COVID-19 inventions, CIPO has launched a pilot program for free accelerated examination of Canadian patent applications that pertain to supporting the health-related response to COVID-19. This program is limited to 50 applications for the time being and is targeted to Applicants that qualify as a small entity (a business employing 50 or fewer employees or a university) and in which the claimed invention is currently or has been subject to a Health Canada approval process.

The professionals of Aird & McBurney can help you navigate patent, industrial design and trademark applications. Details are available on our Intellectual Property webpage.

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