Upcoming Changes to Canadian Patent Practice Could Mean Increased Costs. Can you take steps now to mitigate?
As part of the implementation of the patent term adjustment (PTA) obligation in the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (“CUSMA”), the Government of Canada proposed a series of amendments to the Canadian Patent Rules to better streamline the patent examination process.
As noted in our earlier blog post, the proposed amendments provided for a request for continued examination requirement and a new notice from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) to applicants named a “conditional notice of allowance”, both of which are designed to streamline the patent examination process.
As reported in an earlier ANGLE post, we discussed how 2021 saw a number of patent office developments with regard to whether a non-human entity could be considered an inventor under various patent regimes. Prior to 2021, several patent offices had considered this issue and found that A.I. could not be considered an inventor. In 2021, however, an Australian Court found that a non-human “inventor” is not inconsistent with inventorship under Australian law and South Africa issued a patent designating an A.I. system as the inventor.
It would appear at the end of 2021 that some patent offices were trending towards recognizing a non-human entity, like A.I. based technology, as an inventor. Could this trend continue?
Maybe not. With a decision just before Christmas of 2021 from European authorities, any such trend may have been stopped in its tracks.
The Government of Canada is proposing regulatory amendments to the Canadian Patent Rules. The proposed amendments were published on July 3, 2021 and the public has 30 days to provide comments. The final rules are expected to be published in fall 2021 and implemented in late 2021.
The Canadian Trademark landscape has changed significantly over the last few years with a modernized trademarks regime. The challenges that have arisen since Canada’s 2019 accession to the Singapore Treaty, the Madrid Protocol, and the Nice Agreement, along with various input from stakeholders, have guided the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) in adopting new measures to accelerate the prosecution of trademark applications. With the time to the issuance of a first examination report reaching recently 24-30 months in the case of some national applications, these measures need to be carefully considered. Two new practice notices are intended to address delays in examination, namely:
- CIPO – PN: Measures to improve timeliness in examination
- CIPO – PN: Requests for expedited examination
Many people have a great deal of digital content stored “in the cloud”, often through email, social media platforms, file storage and other related services. Whether it is the storage of user-created content, such as photos, videos or documents, or content that users pay to access, such as music and e-books, the use of such services is governed by the Terms of Service (“ToS”) of the relevant company (“online service provider”).
Despite the often monetary or emotional value of such user-created content, ToS tend to be contracts of adhesion; if a person wants to use an online service provider, they generally have no option but to agree to that online service provider’s ToS. As ToS are almost always unilaterally-generated contracts where the individual has no negotiating power vis-à-vis the online service provider, the reality is that most people usually accept ToS without actually reading them. As a result, many are unaware of how the ToS affect their rights to the accounts with these service providers and the content stored in association with them, or the rights their heirs might have in this regard after they die. This is particularly the case for an individual’s copyright with respect to the content that they create through or store with the online service provider.