All eyes on the Patent Law Treaty — April 2019
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This monthly update aims to provide you with the latest news on the implementation of the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) with the goal of helping you prepare for upcoming changes.
The Patent Office is continuing to work on its preparations toward the accession to the PLT. We anticipate the coming into force of the new Patent Rules to be in the fall of 2019.
Working toward the accession: Computer systems testing
We are mid-way through testing our computer systems that have been re-programmed in anticipation of our updated business processes for implementation of the PLT. The testing started several months ago and will continue up until close to the coming into force. The information technology (IT) group is performing testing in collaboration with employees of the Patent Branch. The group uses the feedback and "bugs" identified through testing to continue optimizing our systems. This key activity is one of many activities the Patent Branch is doing to ensure the PLT is implemented successfully and that we continue to deliver quality services after the coming into force of the PLT.
Theme of the month: Request for extension of time
The Commissioner will continue to have the authority to extend time limits for certain actions under the Patent Rules. The associated practice will be aligned with those of trademarks and industrial designs. Applicants will need to:
- submit a request for an extension of time for the action that is permitted by the Rules, before the original time limit expires
- pay the prescribed fee of $200
- provide a justification that explains why the required actions cannot be completed within the time period originally set
The request will be assessed for compliance with the administrative requirements and, if the Commissioner considers that the circumstances justify the extension, an extension of time of up to six months per file and per action generally will be granted. The applicant will be notified by letter of the Commissioner's decision regarding any request for an extension of time.
Examples of actions that will be eligible for an extension of time:
- The time to respond to an examiner's requisition will be four months. The Commissioner may extend the time limit to respond to the examiner's requisition to a maximum of six months from the date of the examiner's requisition (section 132 of the proposed Patent Rules).
- The time to respond to a Commissioner's notice requiring the applicant to comply with the Act or the Rules is three months. The Commissioner may extend the time limit to respond to the notice (section 65 of the proposed Patent Rules).
Subsequent requests for an extension of time for the same action on the same file would only be considered under exceptional circumstances. Examples of exceptional circumstances that could justify a further extension of time:
- Recent change in patent agent
- If there has been a very recent change in the appointment of a patent agent, the Commissioner may grant a further extension of time to allow the newly appointed patent agent to become familiar with the file.
- Circumstances beyond the control of the person concerned
- Such as severe illness, accident, death, bankruptcy or other serious and unforeseen circumstances.
For more information regarding this topic, please consult the Time web page, a draft topic as part of the Manual of Patent Office Practice public consultation.
Did you know?
In the 19th century, few Canadian women acquired patents and most of those patents typically related to household appliances or fashion. However, there are exceptions such as the improvement to a druggist's (pharmacist's) sieve, for which Eliza Scott obtained protection on with the Canadian patent 22,094.
Questions or comments?
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