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Will the Pandemic Impact Trademarks in Canada? - An Update

With the significant disruptions to civil society, Canadian business owners face a host of immediate concerns. Trademarks and intellectual property are naturally lower on the list, and brand owners should take some comfort that there’s a bit of breathing room for any approaching deadlines. CIPO deadlines have now been extended to May 15, 2020.

This means that May 15th will be a designated day and that the next due date will fall on May 18th (the Tuesday after Victoria Day). See: Updates on CIPO operations and services

We are monitoring developments and our IP team continues its operations remotely. The current circumstances have not impacted our ability to make filings with CIPO in a secure manner.

After lobbying from rights-holders, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) announced that any deadlines that fall between now and the end of March will be extended to May 15, 2020. In other words, if any response, filing deadline or other procedural step was due under the Trademarks Act, the Industrial Design Act, or the Patent Act, between March 16, 2020, and April 30, 2020, that deadline will be extended to May 15, without any loss of rights.

In typical staid bureaucratic fashion, CIPO also confirmed that “if the circumstances that led to the designation of these days continue, the Commissioner may decide to extend the period of time for which days are designated.”

CIPO also confirmed that its offices remain open and in operation but warned that clients should expect significant delays in all CIPO services.

This will, of course, translate to additional delays to those clients were already experiencing before the COVID-19 outbreak pandemonium.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has also provided some accommodations, by extending certain deadlines, and waiving petition fees in certain situations for customers impacted by the coronavirus. See: USPTO notices regarding COVID-19

If you have questions about your intellectual property rights or trademarks, contact your Field Law advisor for more information. Stay tuned. We will provide further updates as information becomes available.

,Partner, Trademark Agent, CLP