On March 30, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) announced an increased grace period for all deadlines related to Canadian trademark applications and any proceedings before the Trademarks Opposition Board (“TMOB”). This bulletin will provide a summary of the key changes announced as a result of COVID-19.
CIPO announced it has designated all days beginning on March 16, 2020, and ending on April 30, 2020, such that any deadline that applied to either a Canadian trademark application or a proceeding under the TMOB which falls on the designated days has extended.
The revised date for any deadline captured in the window of time noted above is now May 1, 2020.
This extension means that if additional time is needed to gather information requested or answer questions regarding a trademark application, or for evidence to be assembled or a decision needed for a TMOB proceeding, an applicant is not required under the legislated changes to act until the new deadline.
CIPO also announced that for any deadlines falling after May 1, 2020, CIPO will consider the disruption caused by COVID-19 a sufficient circumstance to obtain an extension of time as they are permitted upon request under the Trademarks Act. CIPO went further to note that the Registrar may also use its discretion to extend deadlines on its own initiative if it is in the interests of justice to do so.
Please note that for any applications or TMOB proceedings that that our firm is working on, we continue to prepare responses and submissions in accordance with the existing deadlines. We will let our clients determine if they would like to take advantage of the extension of time.
Impact on Services
CIPO’s recent announcement of the deadline extension also reminded Canadians that CIPO remains open and is in full operation at this time, including their online systems. However, CIPO advised they are experiencing significant delays with all services. Therefore, any applicants waiting for an initial examiner’s report for a trademark, any subsequent examiner’s reports, or for a trademark application to be moved along to advertisement, can expect increased delays.
If you need advice on navigating the rule changes regarding trademarks in Canada, have questions about your existing trademark application, or have queries regarding other intellectual property, technology or business law needs, do not hesitate to contact us.
Scott Allen, Associate
Direct Line: 604 484 1730