Accelerated examination for Canadian patent applications related to COVID-19 relief

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office

We have launched a pilot program that allows accelerated examination at no additional cost for inventions related to medical products and processes supporting the response to COVID-19. The process will result in faster intellectual property protection for small entity applicants.

This page explains how to submit a request to seek accelerated examination for patent applications related to COVID-19 relief. This process aims to accelerate examination of up to 50 patent applications and will remain in effect until otherwise indicated by CIPO.

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Who can submit a request?

You can submit a request for accelerated patent examination if:

  • You have a new or existing patent application for an invention that supports the health-related response to COVID-19
  • You qualify as a small entity which is a university or a business employing 50 or fewer employees (see Manual of Patent Office Practice (MOPOP) chapter 10.02.01)

CIPO will accelerate examination of patent applications for COVID-19 related products where the claimed invention is currently or has been subject to a Health Canada approval process including but not limited to:

  • a Medical Device Licence (MDL);
  • a Medical Device Establishment Licence (MDEL);
  • an authorization under the Interim Order respecting the importation and sale of medical devices for use in relation to COVID-19;
  • an investigational testing authorization (ITA);
  • an authorization under the Interim Order Respecting Clinical Trials for Medical Devices and Drugs Relating to COVID-19;
  • No Object Letter (NOL) for clinical trials;
  • Notice of Compliance (NoC); and,
  • an authorization under Interim Order Respecting the Importation, Sale and Advertising of Drugs for Use in Relation to COVID-19.

How to submit a request

To take advantage of accelerated service related to COVID-19 relief, submit a letter to the Patent Office that includes:

  • a statement that the technology is medical and related to COVID-19 and that an approval for its use has been submitted to or has been obtained from Health Canada
  • a small entity declaration (if you have not already submitted one)
  • a request for an early laid open date (if appropriate)
    • Include this only if the statement is made before the application has been opened to public inspection. This is usually 18 months after the filing date or if applicable the priority date. After the request, the process for publishing the application can take up to 3 months
  • a Request for Examination (if this has not already been done)
    • This request requires payment of the associated examination fee

If you don't have an existing patent application

Send the request for accelerated examination with your Canadian patent application:

If you have an existing application

Send the request for accelerated examination using Patent General Correspondence.

Send requests for accelerated examination to CIPO using the methods of communication found in chapter 2 of the Manual of Patent Office Practice (MOPOP). Please note, however, that there may be a delay in processing your request if you choose to submit by postal mail.

After you submit a request

Once your request for accelerated examination is processed and accepted, the Office will examine the application as soon as possible.

You should expect your first and subsequent Office actions within 3 months.

While your patent application may receive accelerated examination, it could lose this advantage if you request an extension of time or miss any deadline.

You can request withdrawal from accelerated service related to COVID-19 relief at any time.

Please remember that all Canadian patent applications are examined in accordance with the Patent Act and Rules with guidance from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office's (CIPO's) Manual of Patent Office Practice (MOPOP).

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