Are you a small business or independent inventor with an invention which may help in the fight against COVID-19?
On 8 May 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a new program for accelerating the review of patent applications related to COVID-19. This could be your lucky day (if you’re one of the 500 selected…)!
The purpose of this program is to facilitate the patenting process by reducing cost and allowing rapid review of eligible filed patent applications.
What do you need to know about the new program (“COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program”)? Here’s a snapshot:
The patent application must cover a product or process that is subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19.
Only small and micro entities are eligible (companies with <500 employees or independent inventors).
Prioritized examination fees are not required under this program (regular fees apply).
Total of 500 applications will be reviewed under the program.
Canada’s Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) does not have a specific program for inventors in response to COVID-19 but it has multiple programs for expediting review of new patent applications, and at a low cost relative to the U.S., which may be used as before. Canadian patent applications may be expedited under one of the following scenarios:
By payment of a fee of $500CAD (useable on virtually all applications).
By having a corresponding patent issued in a foreign patent office. For example, if you have filed the same patent application in the U.S. and Canada and a U.S. patent has issued, CIPO will expedite review of the corresponding Canadian application.
For any questions or further information, please contact a member of our patent group.
Canadians have made it through the first
four weeks of social distancing and are now settling into new routines as much
as possible. For many, that means turning to online resources for our business,
social, entertainment, educational, and fitness needs.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic,
there is a proliferation of innovative online offerings that are enabling our
businesses to continue operating, offering a sense of community, continuing
education, or even just providing ways for busy parents to entertain their kids
for a couple of hours. In a time of extreme isolation, the internet is bringing
Canadians together and helping us to stay connected.
One thing that has not changed, however,
is copyright law. Although the states of emergency declared across Canada and
around the world are disrupting many things, the Copyright Act remains in force.
Developing new online services that
attempt to replicate in-person interactions and transactions may trigger some
unexpected copyright obligations.
The coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on our personal lives, our countries and our economies! Canada’s Intellectual Property Office is no exception. While the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) currently remains open and in operation, significant delays in all CIPO services should be expected.
More importantly, CIPO has, on account of the unforeseen circumstances resulting from COVID-19, recently announced that for now March 16, 2020 to March 31, 2020 inclusive will be considered “designated days” under the applicable Canadian intellectual property legislation. This means that if a CIPO deadline under the Patent Act,Trademarks Act and/or Industrial Design Act falls on any of these “designated days”, the time period to respond will be extended to the next business day (e.g. April 1st, 2020). CIPO has also indicated that, if the circumstances that led to this designation continues, CIPO may decide to extend the applicable time period. CIPO’s decision coincides with fee, rule and procedural accommodations by other intellectual property offices, including the EU Intellectual Property Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Fasken’s IP group is taking steps to ensure continuity of our services to our clients over this period, largely by working remotely. As CIPO’s online solutions are available 24/7 and from anywhere, we are available to continue to assist our clients during this period. Please don’t hesitate to reach out, should you need assistance. In the meantime, we will continue to keep you informed of any developments as they occur.
The past two months have been marked by
unprecedented turmoil for the British royal family, after the announcement by
the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, that they would
step down as senior members of the royal family and entertain their own
financial independence. Under a new working arrangement, they will be free to
earn professional income and will have more liberty to pursue their charitable
endeavours. Further details on the specific arrangements can be found here.
In anticipation of their new
projects, a trademark application and a domain name registration for SUSSEX
ROYAL had been sought in the UK. Following a recent intervention by Her Majesty
the Queen herself, however, the use of the term “royal” has now been
disallowed. Since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would no longer be serving as
“royal” members and representatives, as they gave up their royal duties, then
there was no justification for them to further use this term. The UK trademark
application for SUSSEX ROYAL was thereby withdrawn.