All eyes on the Patent Law Treaty — May 2019

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The purpose of this monthly update is to present the latest news on the implementation of the new Patent Rules leading to the accession to the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) so that you can prepare for the upcoming changes.

Work continues as we approach the coming into force of the new proposed Patent Rules. Among other preparations, we have been working on the updates to the Manual of Patent Office Practice. On March 26, we released a series of documents on that topic, containing 11 administrative topics, for consultation. This is an opportunity for stakeholders to learn more about the administrative practice changes in the new proposed Patent Rules.

Employee training to prepare for the changes

The training of employees in the Patent Office to prepare them for the coming into force of the new legislation is well underway and consists of four phases.

In the first training session, which took place last fall, employees were made aware of the broad lines of the upcoming changes.

We are currently in the second training phase, and employees are learning specific concepts that will be expanded upon through practical exercises and case studies.

A few weeks before the new proposed Patent Rules come into force, we will move into the third phase. Employees will work with new and updated computer tools and conduct technical exercises to make sure that the concepts are well understood and that the systems work properly.

After the new legislation comes into force, we will continue to closely follow our employees’ progress and, wherever necessary, give them the tools to perfect their knowledge and skills related to these systems and to the legislation.

Theme of the month: filing requirements

In order to obtain a filing date pursuant to subsection 28(1) of the Patent Act, an applicant will have to provide the following documents and information, as defined in section 71 of the new proposed Patent Rules:

  1. an explicit or implicit indication that the granting of a Canadian patent is sought
  2. information allowing the identity of the applicant to be established
  3. information allowing the Commissioner to contact the applicant
  4. a document, in any language, that on the face of it appears to be a description

When the required documents and information are submitted on different dates, the patent application filing date is the last of those dates. The Commissioner will notify the applicant if any of the required documents or information are missing and will request that the applicant file them within two months after the date of the notice, pursuant to subsection 28(2) of the Patent Act.

Payment of the filing fee will not be required to establish a filing date for a patent application. However, if the filing fee is not paid on the filing date, the Commissioner will send the applicant a notice, pursuant to subsection 27(7) of the Patent Act, requesting payment of the filing fee and a late fee within three months after the notice date. If the filing fee and the late fee have not been paid by the deadline, the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn, pursuant to subsection 66(2) of the Patent Rules.

Though the specification and drawings describing the invention will not have to be written in English or French for a filing date to be established, the applicant will have to submit an English or French translation of any documents that, at the filing date, are not entirely in English or in French.

For additional information about this matter, please consult the document entitled Filing Requirements, presented as an administrative topic in the Public consultation on draft topics for the new Patent Rules in the Manual of Patent Office Practice.

Did you know?

In order to distinguish them from one another, Canadian patent applications are assigned a number as they are received by the Patent Office. We have now passed the three-million mark, but patent number 1 was issued on August 18, 1869, and entitled “A Machine for Measuring Liquids.” The application contained four claims, was handwritten and had three drawings. You can consult it here: Patent 1 Summary.

Questions or comments?

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the contents of this monthly update, please contact us at
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