Correspondence Procedures

May 10, 2017

On this page:

  1. Physical Delivery of Correspondence to CIPO
  2. Electronic Correspondence
  3. Details concerning the electronic formats accepted
  4. General Information
  5. Statutory Holidays
  6. Procedures in case of an unexpected Office closure at CIPO
  7. Procedures when CIPO is open for business but clients are unable to communicate with the Office
  8. Intellectual property acts, rules and regulations

This notice will replace all previous notices regarding Correspondence Procedures.

This practice notice is intended to provide guidance on current Canadian Intellectual Property Office practice and interpretation of relevant legislation. However, in the event of any inconsistency between this notice and the applicable legislation, the legislation must be followed.

1. Physical Delivery of Correspondence to CIPO

For the purposes of sections 5 and 54 of the Patent Rules, section 3 of the Trade-marks Regulations, section 2 of the Copyright Regulations, section 3 of the Industrial Design Regulations and section 3 of the Integrated Circuit Topography Regulations, the address of the Patent Office, the Office of the Registrar of Trade-marks, the Copyright Office, the Industrial Design section of the Office of the Commissioner of Patents, and the Office of the Registrar of Topographies (hereinafter sometimes collectively referred to as "CIPO") is:

Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Place du Portage I
50 Victoria Street, Room C-114
Gatineau QC K1A 0C9

Correspondence delivered to the above address during ordinary business hours 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (local time) will be considered to be received on the date of delivery.

Please be advised that once correspondence is received by CIPO it cannot be returned to the sender, even if the sender states that the correspondence was sent by mistake. Exceptionally, in cases where correspondence is related to a patent application that does not meet the requirements under subsection 27.1(1) of the Patent Act for obtaining a filing date, the documents will be returned to the sender.

The Fee Payment Form should always be submitted as a covering document and should be the only document submitted to CIPO that contains financial information, such as credit card numbers.

Download the Fee Payment Form.

1.1 Designated Establishments

For the purposes of subsections 5(4) and 54(3) of the Patent Rules, subsection 3(4) of the Trade-marks Regulations, subsection 2(4) of the Copyright Regulations, subsection 3(4) of the Industrial Design Regulations and subsection 3(4) of the Integrated Circuit Topography Regulations, the following are the designated establishments or designated offices to which correspondence addressed to the Commissioner of Patents, the Registrar of Trade-marks, the Copyright Office or the Registrar of Topographies may be delivered in person:

Correspondence delivered, during ordinary business hours, to one of the designated establishments listed above, will be considered to be received on the date of delivery to that designated establishment, only if it is also a day on which CIPO is open for business. Correspondence delivered to a designated establishment on a day when CIPO is closed for business will be considered to be received on the next day on which CIPO is open for business. For example, correspondence delivered to the designated establishment in Toronto on June 24 will not be considered received on June 24 since CIPO is closed for business. The correspondence will be considered received on the next day CIPO is open for business.

Please note that documents delivered to the addresses listed above must be enclosed in a sealed envelope.

1.2. Registered MailTM and XpresspostTM services of Canada Post

For the purposes of subsections 5(4) and 54(3) of the Patent Rules, subsection 3(4) of the Trade-marks Regulations, subsection 2(4) of the Copyright Regulations, subsection 3(4) of the Industrial Design Regulations and subsection 3(4) of the Integrated Circuit Topography Regulations, the Registered MailTM and XpresspostTM services of Canada Post are designated establishments or designated offices to which correspondence addressed to the Commissioner of Patents, the Registrar of Trade-marks, the Copyright Office or the Registrar of Topographies may be delivered.

CIPO considers that correspondence delivered through the Registered MailTM and XpresspostTM services of Canada Post is received by CIPO on the day indicated on the mailing receipt provided by Canada Post, or if CIPO is closed for business on that day, on the day when CIPO is next open for business.

2. Electronic Correspondence

In accordance with section 8.1 of the Patent Act, and for the purposes of subsections 5(6), 54(5), and 68(3) of the Patent Rules, subsection 3(6) of the Trade-marks Regulations, subsection 2(6) of the Copyright Regulations, subsection 3(6) of the Industrial Design Regulations, and subsection 3(6) of the Integrated Circuit Topography Regulations, correspondence addressed to the Commissioner of Patents, the Registrar of Trade-marks, the Copyright Office or the Registrar of Topographies may be sent by facsimile, online or on an electronic medium only as provided in the current notice.

In accordance with subsection 54(5) of the Patent Rules, the request for national entry is the only correspondence addressed to the Commissioner in respect of an international application that can be submitted online or on an electronic medium with the exception of sequence listings, applications prepared using the PCT-SAFE software or prepared using WIPO's ePCT online service as specified in the current notice. Other correspondence submitted online or on an electronic medium in respect of international applications that have not entered the national phase will not be accepted.

Subsection 3(9) of the Trade-marks Regulations specifies certain categories of correspondence to which the provisions of subsection 3(6) do not apply and which thus may not be sent by facsimile or online.

Correspondence sent by facsimile or online to the Commissioner of Patents, the Registrar of Trade-marks, the Copyright Office or the Registrar of Topographies constitutes the original, therefore a duplicate paper copy should not be forwarded.

Correspondence delivered by electronic means of transmission, including facsimile, will be considered to be received on the day that it is transmitted if delivered and received before midnight, local time at CIPO on a day when CIPO is open for business. When CIPO is closed for business, correspondence delivered on that day will be considered to be received on the next day on which CIPO is open for business.

2.1 Facsimile

Facsimile correspondence addressed to the Commissioner of Patents, the Registrar of Trade-marks, the Copyright Office or the Registrar of Topographies may be sent to the following facsimile numbers:

Facsimile correspondence that is sent to any facsimile number other than those indicated above, including those of a designated establishment or designated office, will be considered not to have been received.

The electronic transmittal report returned to you following your facsimile transmission will constitute your acknowledgment receipt. Confidentiality of the facsimile transmission process cannot be guaranteed. Please note that CIPO strongly discourages the use of a computer facsimile interface or internet-based facsimile services due to technical issues with reception.

When submitting a document by facsimile that also has a fee requirement, notification of the preferred mode of payment to be applied must be prominently displayed on the Fee Payment Form to ensure expedient processing.

Patents

The document presentation requirements set out in sections 69 and 70 of the Patent Rules apply to facsimile correspondence.

2.2 Online

Correspondence addressed to the Commissioner of Patents, the Registrar of Trade-marks, the Copyright Office or the Registrar of Topographies may be sent electronically using the relevant links below.

Patents

For the purpose of subsection 5(6) of the Patent Rules, correspondence addressed to the Commissioner may be sent electronically by accessing the following pages:

Canada as Receiving Office Under the PCT: PCT-SAFE

Pursuant to PCT Rule 89bis, CIPO, in its role as a receiving Office, accepts the electronic filing of an international application prepared using the latest version of the WIPO's PCT-Safe software and applications prepared using WIPO's ePCT online service. Filing in both cases must be done using CIPO's International Filing e-service, called PCT E-Filing.

Note: Correspondence related to PCT international applications can not be sent electronically to CIPO. Correspondence may be sent by mail, by facsimile or delivered by hand to CIPO or to a designated establishment.

Trademarks

For the purpose of subsection 3(6) of the Trade-marks Regulations, the following correspondence addressed to the Registrar of Trade-marks may be sent electronically by accessing the following pages:

Copyright

For the purpose of subsection 2(6) of the Copyright Regulations, the following correspondence addressed to the Copyright Office may be sent electronically, by accessing the following pages:

Industrial Designs

For the purpose of subsection 3(6) of the Industrial Design Regulations, the following correspondence addressed to the Commissioner of Patents may be sent electronically, by accessing the following pages:

Integrated Circuit Topographies

For the purpose of subsection 3(6) of the Integrated Circuit Topography Regulations, the following correspondence addressed to the Registrar of Topographies may be sent electronically, by accessing the following page:

2.3 Electronic medium

Patents

The Patent Office will accept correspondence on various types of electronic medium as specified below. The electronic medium should contain a table of contents and be provided with a cover letter, which will be date stamped by CIPO and placed in the application file. Filing date requirements prescribed in the Patent Rules still remain.

When submitted on an electronic medium, the parts of the application must be logically broken down in files, which are no larger than 25 megabytes.

With regards to sequence listings under Rule 111 of the Patent Rules, the electronic medium must be separate from any electronic medium which may be filed containing parts of the application itself or amendment(s) thereof.

Canada as Receiving Office Under the PCT: Electronic Filing of Sequence Listings

Pursuant to PCT Rules 89bis and 89ter, and in accordance with Part 7 of the PCT Administrative Instructions, where an international application contains disclosure of one or more nucleotide and/or amino acid sequence listings, CIPO, in its role as a receiving Office, accepts that the sequence listing part of the description and/or any table related to the sequence listing(s) be filed, at the option of the applicant:

provided that the other elements of the international application are filed as otherwise provided for under the PCT.

The sequence listing part of an international application filed in electronic form and related tables filed in electronic form shall comply with the relevant provisions of Annex C and C-bis of the PCT Administrative Instructions respectively.

For this purpose the Canadian receiving Office will accept any electronic media specified in Annex F of the PCT Administrative Instructions. Where both the sequence listing and the tables are filed in electronic form, the listing and the tables shall be contained on separate electronic media, which shall contain no other programs or files.

For the purpose of processing the international application, the Canadian receiving Office requires two (2) additional copies of the electronic media containing the sequence listing and/or tables in electronic form, accompanied by a statement that the sequence listings and/or tables contained in the copies are identical to those in electronic form as filed.

For further details concerning the filing of sequence listings and/or tables in electronic form, including the labeling of the electronic media and the calculation of the international filing fee, refer to section 7 of the PCT Administrative Instructions.

Electronic Media accepted by the Patent Office

The Patent Office will accept 3.5 inch diskette, CD-ROM, CD-R, DVD, DVD-R and any format as specified in Annex F of the PCT Administration Instructions.

The electronic medium must also be free of worms, viruses or other malicious content. Files with malicious content will be deleted.

3. Details concerning the electronic formats accepted

Patents

In accordance with section 8.1 of the Patent Act, and for the purposes of subsections 5(6), 54(5), and 68(3) of the Patent Rules, the acceptable file formats for documents submitted electronically site using the relevant links set out in section 2.2 of these correspondence procedures or on electronic media are TIFF and PDF. In order to get a correspondence date, the office will accept documents initially filed in other formats provided they are viewable with the software "Stellent Quick View Plus 8.0.0". In these cases, the office will request the documents to be replaced by documents in PDF or TIFF and the submission of a statement to the effect that the replacement documents are the same as the documents initially filed.

Sequence listings can be initially provided in TIFF, PDF or in ASCII file formats. However, as a completion requirement according to section 94 of the Patent Rules, a sequence listing in the ASCII format compliant with the "PCT sequence listing standard" has to be submitted. Therefore, CIPO encourages applicants to submit the sequence listings in the ASCII format in the first place.

When applicable, the Patent Office will accept files in the TIFF, PDF and ASCII format when they comply with the following specifications:

TIFF Format:

PDF Format:

ASCII

Industrial Design

For the purposes of subsection 3(6) of the Industrial Design Regulations, the acceptable file formats for documents submitted electronically using the relevant links set out in section 2.2 of these correspondence procedures are: TIFF, JPEG, WPD and Doc. In order to get a correspondence date, the Office will accept documents initially filed in other formats provided they are viewable with the software "Stellent Quick View Plus 8.0.0". In these cases, the Office will request the documents to be replaced by documents in one of the acceptable formats and the submission of a statement to the effect that the replacement documents are the same as the documents initially filed.

When submitting images electronically, we strongly encourage clients to comply with the following specifications:

TIFF Format:

Photographs in JPEG Format:

For all images submitted in different formats, the office may print and scan the images or convert them to recommended formats prior to loading them in the database. If the office converts files to an acceptable format this could result in a change in quality to the drawings.

4. General Information

General information may be obtained by communicating with CIPO's Client Service Centre.

5. Statutory Holidays

Time limits under the Patent, Trade-marks, Industrial Design, Copyright and Integrated Circuit Topography Acts

In accordance with section 26 of the Interpretation Act, any person choosing to deliver a document to a designated establishment (including CIPO's offices in Gatineau, Quebec; an Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada regional office or the Registered MailTM and XpresspostTM services of Canada Post) where a federal, provincial or territorial holiday exists, is entitled to an extension of any time limit for the filing of the document that expires on the holiday, until the next day that is not a holiday. It is to be noted, in respect of provincial and territorial holidays, that the entitlement to the extension is dependent on the establishment to which the document is delivered and not on the place of residence of the person for whom the document is filed or of their agent. For this purpose, documents transmitted to CIPO by electronic means, including by facsimile, would be considered to be delivered to CIPO's offices in Gatineau, Quebec.

CIPO has no practical way of keeping track of the establishment to which documents are delivered. Accordingly, where a person has a time limit for the filing of a document that expires on a provincial or territorial holiday but only delivers the document on the next day that is not a holiday, CIPO will assume that the document was delivered to an establishment that would justify an extension of the time limit. In such circumstances, it will be the responsibility of the person filing the document to ensure that he or she is properly entitled to any needed extension of the time limit.

Time limits under the Patent and Trade-marks Acts

In addition to the extensions of time limits referred to above, in accordance with subsection 78(1) of the Patent Act and subsection 66(1) of the Trade-marks Act, any patent or trademark time limit that expires on a day when the Patent and Trademarks Offices are closed for business is deemed to be extended to the next day when the offices are open for business. All persons are entitled to these extensions regardless of their place of residence or of the establishment to which documents are delivered. No equivalent provisions exist under the Industrial Design Act, the Copyright Act or the Integrated Circuit Topography Act.

Time limits under the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Rule 80.5 of the Regulations under the PCT provides:

If the expiration of any period during which any document or fee must reach a national Office or intergovernmental organization falls on a day:

  1. on which such Office or organization is not open to the public for the purposes of the transaction of official business;

  2. on which ordinary mail is not delivered in the locality in which such Office or organization is situated;

  3. which, where such Office or organization is situated in more than one locality, is an official holiday in at least one of the localities in which such Office or organization is situated, and in circumstances where the national law applicable by that Office or organization provides, in respect of national applications, that, in such a case, such period shall expire on a subsequent day; or

  4. which, where such Office is the government authority of a Contracting State entrusted with the granting of patents, is an official holiday in part of that Contracting State, and in circumstances where the national law applicable by that Office provides, in respect of national applications, that, in such a case, such period shall expire on a subsequent day;

the period shall expire on the next subsequent day on which none of the said four circumstances exists.

CIPO takes the position that section 26 of the Interpretation Act applies to PCT international applications filed in Canada. Accordingly, where a person has a time limit under the PCT for the filing of a document in Canada that expires on a provincial or territorial holiday but only delivers the document on the next day that is not a holiday, CIPO will assume that the document was delivered to an establishment that would justify an extension of the time limit. CIPO, however, takes no position as to whether such extensions would be recognized by other countries, and it will be the responsibility of the person filing the document to ensure that in other countries of interest they are properly entitled to any needed extension of the time limit by reason of Rule 80.5 of the Regulations under the PCT or some other applicable law.

Provincial and Territorial Holidays

For the purposes of this practice notice, CIPO has identified the following as being days that are not federal holidays but that are holidays in one or more provinces or territories:

  1. Alberta: Third Monday in February (Alberta Family Day)
  2. British Columbia:
    • First Monday in August (British Columbia Day)
    • Second Monday in February (British Columbia Family Day)
  3. New Brunswick: First Monday in August (New Brunswick Day)
  4. Newfoundland and Labrador:
    • March 17 (St. Patrick's Day)
    • April 23 (St. George's Day)
    • June 24 (Discovery Day)
    • July 12 (Orangemen's Day)
    • First Monday in August (Regatta Day)
  5. Nova Scotia: First Monday in August (Civic Holiday)
  6. Ontario:
    • Third Monday in February (Ontario Family Day)
    • First Monday in August (Civic Holiday)
  7. Prince Edward Island: First Monday In August (Civic Holiday)
  8. Quebec: June 24 (St. John the Baptist Day)
  9. Saskatchewan: First Monday in August (Saskatchewan Day)
  10. Yukon: Third Monday in August (Discovery Day)

When CIPO's Offices are closed for business

For the purposes of subsection 78(1) of the Patent Act and subsection 66(2) of the Trade-marks Act, CIPO's Offices are closed for business on the following days:

If December 26 falls on a Saturday, CIPO's Offices will be closed on the following Monday. If December 26 falls on a Sunday or Monday, the Offices are closed on the following Tuesday.

*If any of these holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the Offices will be closed on the following Monday.

6. Procedures in case of an unexpected office closure at CIPO

In case of an emergency, CIPO will attempt to remain open for business and ensure that essential service to our clients continues with the least possible disruption or delay.

In view of the date-sensitive nature of intellectual property (IP), clients are advised to address important deadlines ahead of time to minimize the risk of affecting their IP rights. For the purposes of such deadlines, unless otherwise notified, clients should assume that all due dates remain in effect.

Whenever CIPO is closed for business, including closures due to extraordinary circumstances, CIPO considers all time limits to be extended until the next day that it is open for business. In such situations, mail delivered to CIPO or to the designated regional offices will be considered to be received on the date that CIPO re-opens for business, with the exception of correspondence addressed to the Registrar of Topographies.

There may also be instances in which the designated regional offices may be temporarily closed, yet CIPO remains open for business. In such situations, it remains the responsibility of CIPO's clients to ensure that all deadlines are respected.

Clients are strongly encouraged to send date-sensitive material through Canada Post by Registered MailTM or XpresspostTM or electronically using the relevant links set out in section 2.2 of these correspondance procedures. Documents may continue to be faxed to CIPO at 819-953-CIPO (953-2476); however date-sensitive material requiring fee payment that is sent by fax must be accompanied by a VISA, MasterCard, or American Express credit card number, or CIPO deposit account number.

When possible during an emergency, information and search systems will continue to be available on our website; however, services provided through the Client Service Centre and other support areas within CIPO may be temporarily unavailable. Should an emergency occur, CIPO will post information on our service interruptions as they become available and as circumstances permit.

7. Procedures when CIPO is open for business but clients are unable to communicate with the Office

Patents, Industrial Design, Copyright and Integrated Circuit Topography

The legislative framework in relation with the abovementioned types of intellectual property does not provide CIPO with the flexibility to extend deadlines when it is open for business but clients are unable to communicate with the Office.

In these situations it remains the responsibility of clients to ensure that all deadlines are respected.

Trademarks

The Trade-marks Act and Regulations does allow clients to request a retroactive extension of time when a due date has been missed due to a force majeure type situation. For a retroactive extension of time to be granted, the Registrar of Trade-marks must be satisfied that the failure to do the act or apply for an extension of time before the original due date was not reasonably avoidable. A prescribed fee of $125 may be required in certain cases.

CIPO notes that Bill C-59 – Budget Implementation Act 2015, which received royal assent on June 23, 2015, contains provisions for extensions of time in Force Majeure­-type situations (such as catastrophic events). CIPO has commenced work on regulatory amendments to the Patent Rules, Trade-Marks Regulations and the Industrial Design Regulations to bring Bill C-59 into force.

8. Intellectual property acts, rules and regulations

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