On 3 May 2021, CIPO introduced new measures to improve timeliness in trademark examination, in response to higher-than-anticipated filings of trademark applications. These measures included the accelerated examination of a trademark application if it contained statements of goods or services selected from a pre-approved list.
To encourage applicants to file a new application or amend an existing unexamined application using the pre-approved list, as of 6 April 2022, CIPO will automatically pre-assess all national unexamined trademark applications for their goods, services, and Nice Classification. As of April 2022, CIPO has begun issuing pre-assessment letters to inform applicants of the outcomes of this automated pre-assessment. The letter will provide information that the trademark application contains either:
- Acceptable goods or services
- Goods or services that are not classified
- An improper Nice classification
- Unacceptable goods or services
- A combination of the above
If the automated pre-assessment determines that the application contains acceptable goods or services, the examination of the application will be accelerated whether or not the pre-approved list is used. However, in the case of an unfavorable pre-assessment, an applicant may decide to submit an amended application using the pre-approved list to accelerate its examination. Applicants are not obligated to take any action in response to their pre-assessment letters.
Currently, nationally filed applications in Canada take about 38 months to proceed from filing to examination. However, if a nationally filed application uses CIPO's pre-approved list of goods and services, its examination will be accelerated to about 15 months from the filing date.