The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) has extended its final extension of the deadlines under the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and/or Industrial Design Act as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. As we reported previously, March 16th to August 21st were considered “designated days” under the applicable Canadian intellectual property legislation; the time to respond to certain CIPO actions therefore had been previously extended to August 24th.Continue reading
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) continues to provide updates on the continuing disruption to IP office deadlines under the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and/or Industrial Design Act caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. As we reported previously, March 16th to July 17th were considered “designated days” under the applicable Canadian intellectual property legislation; the time to respond to certain CIPO actions therefore had been extended to July 20th.Continue reading
The legal profession is already feeling the impacts of the coronavirus, and following recent judgements in Arconti v. Smith and Natco Pharma (Canada) Inc. v. Canada (Health), videoconferencing technology is fast becoming a fixture of court proceedings .
In Arconti, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that if the Plaintiffs wanted to examine for discovery one of the Defendants, they had to do it by videoconference, or forfeit the examination. Judge Myers ruled that there was no reason to hold up the proceedings until a traditional, in-person examination could take place once the pandemic restrictions had been lifted. He deemed videoconferencing “more efficient and less costly” than in person examination, reminding us that, after all, “it’s 2020”, and courts should make use of the technology available to them rather than clinging to the usual ways of proceeding. He also stated that in this day and age, a certain level of skill in using technology should be expected of lawyers and the courts.
The plaintiffs resisted discovery by videoconference, arguing that as opposed to in-person examination there is loss of communication and a risk of coordination by the witness and their counsel. The plaintiffs also argued that the lack of a courtroom setting might remove some pressure on witnesses to tell the truth, could facilitate abuse of process, and would reduce the ability to observe witness demeanor.Continue reading
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.
Full details may be found by clicking here (link to USPTO).
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. Learn more about our patent practice.
To provide some context to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fasken’s Intellectual Property Group has prepared an informative bulletin based on questions received from friends, family and colleagues.