October 30, 2019

Canada adopts new Patent Rules

The intellectual property office of Canada has implemented amendments to the patent laws. As of October 30, 2019, new Patent Rules have entered into force alongside amendments to the Patent Act, both of which implement the Patent Law Treaty. The updated legislation is set to modernise the current patent regime.

The Patent Rules bring about some significant changes to the patent protection process, making it easier to obtain a filing date, as the description may now be submitted in any language at the time of filing. A translation into English or French should follow two months from the notification by the Office.

Further, a two-month grace period has been introduced in which applicants may furnish the missing documentation in order to meet filing date requirements. Other amendments include that the filing fee, inclusive of the late fee, can now be paid within three months after the filing date. Previously, payment of this fee was necessary to secure the filing date.

International applications entering the national phase in Canada will now undergo more stringent procedures, as applicants who miss the 30-month standard deadline will no longer be automatically granted a 12-month extension. Instead, they must submit a request to the IP office stating that the missing of the deadline was unintentional alongside payment of the reinstatement fee.

Priority request procedures have also changed, amending the previous requirement of 16 months from the earliest priority date to later of 16 months of the priority date or four months after the filing date in Canada, provided the application subject matter has not been unveiled to the public. The same time limits are applicable for the serving of the certified copies of priority documents, which haven’t been mandatory for filing as per previous version of the Rules.

Additionally, requests for examination will now have a deadline of four years from the filing date instead of the previous five years from the filing date.

Late payment of the maintenance fees for pending applications and granted patents must now be effected within the later of two months from the corresponding notice or six months after the due date as opposed to the previous term of 12 months after the due date for granted patents

The Patent Law Treaty, newly implemented in Canada, aims to streamline the administrative procedures involved in the filing of applications and maintenance of patents throughout participating IP offices. To achieve this in line with the treaty, the IP office of Canada will be delivering a more efficient process to secure the filing date, as well as harmonising administrative formalities and modernising the patent legislative framework. 

The amendments to Canada’s patent legislation, accompanied by the accession to the Patent Law Treaty will harmonise Canadian law with IP offices across the globe. This, in turn, is set to encourage further patent applications and boost innovation in the country.


Author: Danielle Carvey