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.
On August 19th, CIPO announced that August 24th, 2020 to August 28th, 2020 inclusive will also be considered “designated days”. This means that the time period to respond may now be extended to the next business day, namely August 31st, 2020. Due to the online and fax service interruptions taking place from August 21 to August 23, CIPO decided to extend the final extension to provide additional flexibility to its clients.
While the above noted designations by CIPO apply to most, but possibly not all, due dates that originate with CIPO, it is likely that obligations under international treaties and/or conventions, such as the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, may still apply and must be complied with accordingly. As such, any action(s) required to be taken in Canada between now and August 28th should be taken on or before the applicable date or discussed with a Canadian patent agent in order to ensure all rights in Canada and abroad are maintained.
While this is the final extension of designated days, clients may still face challenges related to the pandemic. IP specific extensions of time may be available under the applicable Canadian IP statues and/or regulations. Some deadlines, however, cannot be extended, and others have prescribed limits to any available extensions.
Fasken’s IP group continues to take 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.
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Mark D. Penner’s practice focuses on all aspects of the acquisition, protection, enforcement and strategic use of a wide range of intellectual property assets in Canada and around the world.