The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has released a new practice notice clarifying the effect of the Designated Days on maintenance fee due dates. In 2020, CIPO announced the whole period of March 16 to August 28 inclusive as Designated Days, effectively making all deadlines falling within that period automatically extend until August 31, 2020. In this updated Practice Notice, CIPO clarifies that the Designated Days have no impact on maintenance fee due dates that fall on or after August 31, 2020. The original filing date must be used to determine the subsequent maintenance fee due dates.

Furthermore, if an application had a maintenance fee due date on or before March 13, 2020 and missed the deadline to avoid abandonment by paying the maintenance fee and the late fee during the period of the Designated Days, the deemed abandonment date is August 31, 2020. Similarly, if a patent had a date of deemed expiry on or before March 13, 2020 and the six-month period for reversing that deemed expiry fell within the Designated Days, the start date for the period in which to reverse the deemed expiry (assuming the expiration happened despite all due care required by the circumstances having been taken) is now 12 months from August 31, 2020.

Originally Published by Oyen Wiggs, January 2021

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