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 new Patent Rules leading to the accession to 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 new Patent Rules. 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:

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:

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:

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?

If you have questions, comments or suggestions on the content of this monthly update, feel free to contact us at ic.cipo-consultations-opic.ic@canada.ca.

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