Correspondence Procedures

Publication date: May 10, 2017

Amendment date: June 17, 2019

On this page:

  1. Physical Delivery of Correspondence and Written Communications to CIPO
  2. Electronic Correspondence
  3. Details Concerning the Electronic Formats Accepted
  4. General Information
  5. Time period Extensions
  6. Procedures in Case of an Unexpected Office Closure at CIPO
  7. Procedures when CIPO is Open to the Public but Clients are Unable to Communicate with the Office
  8. Intellectual Property Acts, Rules and Regulations

This notice is intended to clarify the practice of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office with respect to correspondence procedures and written communications and replaces all previous notices.

1. Physical Delivery of Correspondence and Written Communications to CIPO

For the purposes of sections 5 and 54 of the Patent Rules, subsection 10(1) of the Trademarks Regulations, section 2 of the Copyright Regulations, section 4 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 Trademarks, the Copyright Office, the Industrial Design Office, 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

In accordance with subsections 5(2), 5(3), 54(1) and 54(2) of the Patent Rules, subsection 10(2) of the Trademarks Regulations, subsections 2(2) and (3) of the Copyright Regulations, subsection 5(1) of the Industrial Design Regulations and subsections 3(2) and (3) of the Integrated Circuit Topography Regulations, correspondence and written communications delivered to the above address between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday to Friday is deemed to have been received on the actual date of their delivery if they are delivered when CIPO is open to the public.

Correspondence delivered at a time when CIPO is closed to the public will be deemed or considered to have been received on the day on which CIPO is next open to the public.

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 10(1) of the Trademarks Regulations, subsection 2(4) of the Copyright Regulations, section 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 Trademarks, the Copyright Office, the Industrial Design Office or the Registrar of Topographies may be delivered in person. Please note that documents, payments and payment instructions delivered to the addresses listed below must be enclosed in a sealed envelope and that no in person payment transactions are processed on site. The ordinary business hours for each designated establishment are listed below.

In accordance with subsections 5(4), 5(5), 54(3) and 54(4) of the Patent Rules, subsection 10(3) of the Trademarks Regulations, subsections 2(4) and (5) of the Copyright Regulations, subsection 5(2) of the Industrial Design Regulations and subsections 3(4) and (5) of the Integrated Circuit Topography Regulations, correspondence delivered to a designated establishment on a day when CIPO is open to the public will be deemed or considered to be received on the day on which they are delivered to that designated establishment. If CIPO is closed to the public, correspondence will be deemed or considered to be received on the day on which CIPO is next open to the public. For example, if correspondence intended for CIPO is delivered to the designated establishment in Toronto on June 24, it will not be considered to be received on June 24 as CIPO is closed on that day (St-Jean-Baptiste Holiday in Quebec). It will be deemed received on the day on which CIPO is next open to the public.

1.2. Registered Mail™ and Xpresspost™ services of Canada Post

For the purposes of subsections 5(4) and 54(3) of the Patent Rules, subsection 10(1) of the Trademarks Regulations, subsection 2(4) of the Copyright Regulations, section 4 of the Industrial Design Regulations and subsection 3(4) of the Integrated Circuit Topography Regulations, the Registered Mail™ and Xpresspost™ services of Canada Post are designated establishments or designated offices to which correspondence addressed to the Commissioner of Patents, the Registrar of Trademarks, the Copyright Office, the Industrial Design Office or the Registrar of Topographies may be delivered.

CIPO considers that correspondence delivered through the Registered Mail™ and Xpresspost™ services of Canada Post is received by CIPO on the day indicated on the mailing receipt from Canada Post, provided that CIPO is open to the public on that day. If CIPO is closed to the public on that day, correspondence is deemed or considered to be received on the day when CIPO is next open to the public.

2. Electronic Correspondence

For the purposes of section 8.1 of the Patent Act, subsection 64(1) of the Trademarks Act, subsection 24.1(1) of the Industrial Design Act and in accordance with subsections 5(6), 54(5), and 68(3) of the Patent Rules, subsection 10(4) of the Trademarks Regulations, subsection 2(6) of the Copyright Regulations, subsection 10(3) 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 Trademarks, the Copyright Office, the Industrial Design 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 10(5) of the Trademarks Regulations specifies certain categories of correspondence to which the provisions of subsection 10(4) do not apply.

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

Correspondence delivered to the Commissioner of Patents 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.

Correspondence delivered to the Registrar of Trademarks or the Industrial Design Office by electronic means of transmission, including facsimile, is deemed to have been received on the day on which CIPO receives it (Eastern Time).

2.1 Facsimile

Black and white facsimile correspondence addressed to the Commissioner of Patents, the Registrar of Trademarks, the Copyright Office, the Industrial Design Office or the Registrar of Topographies may be sent to the following facsimile numbers:

Colour facsimile correspondence addressed to the Registrar of Trademarks or the Industrial Design Office must be sent to the following facsimile number:

Note that the model of facsimile is a Xerox C505/X and that this information may be needed to ensure a successful colour transmission.

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

Evidence submitted by facsimile in respect of an opposition or section 45 proceeding will not be accepted due to issues such as the often-poor quality of transmission, the risk of incomplete transmission and the voluminous nature of the documents.

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 by facsimile a document 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 Trademarks, the Copyright Office, the Industrial Design 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 10(4) of the Trademarks Regulations, the following correspondence addressed to the Registrar of Trademarks may be sent electronically by accessing the following pages:

For the purpose of subsection 10(4) of the Trademarks Regulations, correspondence addressed to the Registrar of Trademarks in the context of opposition and section 45 proceedings may be sent electronically by accessing the Trademarks Opposition Board's online web application:

Opposition proceedings before the Trademarks Opposition Board
Section 45 proceedings before the Trademarks Opposition Board

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 24.1(1) of the Industrial Design Act, the following correspondence addressed to the Industrial Design Office 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

Note: all electronic media must be free of worms, viruses or other malicious content. Files with malicious content will be deleted.

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.

Trademarks and Industrial Design

The Office of the Registrar of Trademarks and the Industrial Design Office will accept the following types of electronic media: CD-ROM, CD-R, DVD, DVD-R, and USB stick.

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

Trademarks

For the purposes of subsection 64(1) of the Trademarks Act, the acceptable file formats for documents submitted electronically using the relevant links set out in section 2.2 of these correspondence procedures are: PNG, TIFF, JPEG, GIF, MP3, MP4, PDF, BMP and Doc.

Industrial Design

For the purposes of subsection 24.1(1) of the Industrial Design Act, the acceptable file formats for documents, other than a representation of a design, submitted electronically are WPD, DOC, DOCX and PDF. The acceptable file formats for the representation of a design are PDF, JPEG, TIFF and GIF. The file size limit is of 60MB for PDF, 10MB for the other file formats. The scanned/stored images should be of a resolution of at least 300 dpi and the dimensions must be of 21.59 cm by 27.94 cm (8.5 in by 11 in).

Note that the conversion of files to an acceptable format may result in a change to the quality of the drawings.

4. General Information

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

5. Time Period Extensions

Time period extensions under the Patent, Trademarks and Industrial Design Acts

For the purposes of subsection 78(1) of the Patent Act, subsection 66(1) of the Trademarks Act, and subsection 21(1) of the Industrial Design Act, any time period fixed under those Acts and ending on 1) a prescribed day set out in the list below or 2) a designated day on account of unforeseen circumstances, will be extended to the next day that is not a prescribed day or a designated day and where CIPO is open to the public.

Designated days are those days that are designated by the Commissioner, the Registrar, or the Minister, on account of unforeseen circumstances and if they are satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so. If a day is designated, the public will be informed of that fact on CIPO's website.

Prescribed days under the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act are as follows:

Extensions for prescribed days occur regardless of place of residence or of the establishment to which documents are delivered.

Please be aware that not all provincial and territorial holidays are days where deadlines are extended. It is recommended that clients be mindful and ensure that all deadlines are respected.

Time period extensions under the Copyright and Integrated Circuit Topography Acts

In accordance with section 26 of the Interpretation Act, any person choosing to deliver a document to CIPO or a designated establishment (including the Registered Mail™ and Xpresspost™ 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 period extensions 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.

Time period extensions under the Madrid Protocol and the Hague Agreement

If a period within which a communication must be received by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Office would expire on a day on which the International Bureau is not open to the public, it will expire on the next subsequent day on which the International Bureau is open. Likewise, if the period within which a communication (such as a notification of refusal of protection) must be sent by CIPO to the International Bureau would expire on a day on which CIPO is not open to the public, it will expire on the next subsequent day on which CIPO is open.

A list of the days on which the International Bureau is closed to the public during the current and the following calendar year is available on the WIPO website.

6. Procedures in Case of an Unexpected Office Closure at CIPO

In case of unforeseen circumstances, CIPO will attempt to remain open to the public and ensure that essential service to our clients continues with the least possible disruption or delay.

In accordance with paragraph 27.01(n) of the Patent Rules, paragraph 15(n) of the Trademarks Regulations and paragraph 36(n) of the Industrial Design Regulations, whenever CIPO is closed to the public, for all or part of a day during ordinary business hours, including closures due to extraordinary circumstances, time periods will be extended to the next day that is not a prescribed or a designated day and where CIPO is open to the public.

For Copyright and Integrated Circuit Topography, if CIPO is closed to the public due to extraordinary circumstances, CIPO considers all time limits to be extended until the next day that it is open to the public. In such situations, mail delivered to CIPO or to designated establishments will be considered to be received on the date that CIPO re-opens to the public, with the exception of correspondence addressed to the Registrar of Topographies.

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.

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 with respect to service interruptions on our website as it becomes available and as circumstances permit.

Clients are strongly encouraged to send date-sensitive material through Canada Post by Registered Mail™ or Xpresspost™ or to use electronic means using the relevant links set out in section 2.2 of these correspondence procedures. Documents may continue to be faxed to CIPO at 819-953-CIPO (953-2476). 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.

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

7. Procedures when CIPO is Open to the Public 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 to the public 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 Trademarks Act and Regulations allow clients to request a retroactive extension of time when a due date has been missed due to a force majeure type situation. In order for a retroactive extension of time to be granted, the Registrar of Trademarks 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 is required in certain cases.

8. Intellectual property acts, rules and regulations

Date modified: