As a result of the current health crisis, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has advised that it is implementing measures that will alleviate pressures on applicants and rights holders with reference to their IP portfolio in Canada.

The measures announced by CIPO mainly apply to upcoming deadlines and procedures, most notably:

Extension of deadlines: The relaxation of deadlines to accommodate potential delays and interruptions in filings. Any deadlines falling between March 16 and March 31 have been automatically extended to April 1. Further extensions of time may be announced as current circumstances evolve.

CIPO services and access: CIPO is open but services may be slower. While CIPO is in operation, significant delay in services should be expected. CIPO’s online solutions are available 24/7 and are ideal for most needs, especially in current circumstances. CIPO’s designated regional offices, which can normally receive CIPO correspondence, will be deciding whether to remain open to the public. Currently, regional offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montréal are not receiving CIPO correspondence until further notice. If a designated regional office is closed but CIPO remains open, all deadlines will be extended until March 31, 2020.

Hearings: In light of the need for social distancing, hearings of the Patent Appeal Board and the Trademarks Opposition Board are going to take place either remotely (telephone or teleconference) for a period extending at least until April 30, 2020, or will be postponed.

The Dentons IP team is closely monitoring developments as they arise, and is fully prepared and able to continue to deliver a high standard of service to clients. Our offices across Canada remain open for business as usual at this time while we continue to monitor, evaluate and respond to the evolving coronavirus situation. If you have any questions, please contact Panagiota Dafniotis, or another member of Dentons’ IP group.

Below is a list of other COVID-19-related resources we have developed to help our clients respond to the challenges this unprecedented outbreak is posing: