CIPO launches the Patent Examination Interview Service

On June 1, 2017, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) officially launched a new client-focused service, the Patent Examination Interview Service.  

The Patent Examination Interview Service encourages CIPO's patent examiners to contact patent agents or unrepresented applicants by phone in situations where advancing prosecution is likely, such as when there are only a few minor defects remaining in an application. A recent of pilot of the Service was successful in reducing time to allowance by providing the agent or applicant the opportunity to correct minor defects through submission of a voluntary amendment, rather than corresponding with the examiner through the traditional route of written office action and formal response.

The Patent Examination Interview Service was initiated in response to requests from patent agents that examiners at CIPO be encouraged to address prosecution issues by phone as an application approaches allowance and additionally, is in response to requests from both agents and applicants for more direct and informal communication with patent examiners.

This new Service aims to foster innovation in Canada by advancing patent prosecution leading to allowance, reducing costs for the applicant, pendency and risk of impasse, and improving communication between examiners and agents or applicants. The Service will also help CIPO to align its practices with those of other intellectual property offices worldwide and help deliver on CIPO's promise of providing Canadians with timely and quality IP rights.

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