Canada: Update No. 2 - COVID-19 and Canadian Intellectual Property

In brief

Last week, we released our first update. It can be found here.

The purpose of this update, and future updates as the COVID-19 situation evolves, is to provide affected parties with timely information about how COVID-19 is impacting Canadian intellectual property.


Update re: the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)

CIPO Remains Open and Operational

CIPO was closed on Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13 for statutory holidays, and it has since re-opened.

Since Update No. 1, CIPO has created a new webpage titled “COVID-19 and CIPO operations”. It is located at https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr04767.html.

CIPO notes that it remains open and in operation, but significant delays in CIPO services should be expected.

The CIPO Client Service Centre continues to receive orders for intellectual property documents, but due to operational restrictions related to COVID-19, these orders will be fulfilled only once full staffing resumes on-site.

Most deadlines that fall between March 16, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are extended until May 1, 2020. This period could be extended.  Some time periods under the Patent Act are not extended.

CIPO Regional Offices

CIPO’s regional offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Edmonton are still not receiving correspondence.

Until further notice, only the Ottawa and Gatineau offices are accepting correspondence.

CIPO Service Interruption Notices

CIPO’s webpage titled “COVID-19 and CIPO operations” contains a list of CIPO’s latest service interruption notices.

Update No. 1 referenced several of CIPO’s service interruption notices, including:

There are no new service interruption notices posted.

CIPO’s COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

In Update No. 1, we noted that CIPO has published COVID-19 frequently asked questions (FAQs) documents concerning trademarks, patents and industrial designs.

CIPO updated these FAQs on April 9.

These updated FAQ documents, along with guidance from a qualified IP professional, provide some insights into how CIPO is operating during the COVID-19 service disruptions.

Trademarks

CIPO’s April 9, 2020 COVID-19 FAQs for trademarks is available at https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr04764.html.

Patents

CIPO’s April 9, 2020 COVID-19 FAQs for patents is available at https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr04762.html.

Industrial Designs

CIPO’s April 9, 2020 COVID-19 FAQs for industrial designs is available at https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr04763.html.

Update re: the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal

On April 2, 2020, the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal advised that the suspension period set out in the March 19, 2020 Notice is now extended until Friday, May 15, 2020.

All matters scheduled to be heard during the extended suspension period are adjourned. The measures set out in the March 16 and March 19 Notices (see Update No. 1) remain in effect.

According to the Federal Court of Appeal, parties whose appeal or judicial review application was ready to be heard on March 13, 2020, whether or not the matter had been scheduled, may on consent ask to have the matter heard remotely.  Urgent matters can continue to be heard remotely.

On April 4, 2020, the Federal Court issued “Updated Practice Direction and Order (COVID-19)”. It supersedes the Federal Court’s March 17 “Practice Direction and Order”.

The “Suspension Period” now runs until May 15, 2020. It commenced on March 16.

The April 4 “Updated Practice Direction and Order (COVID-19)” is ten pages in length.  Anyone with matters before the Federal Court should familiarize themselves with the content set out in the document.

This Update was prepared by the Intellectual Property (IP) Practice Group in Baker McKenzie’s Toronto Office, with the assistance of J. Andrew Sprague (Professional Support Lawyer).


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