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. In a nutshell, CIPO deadlines have been extended to May 1, 2020.

See: CIPO’s latest announcement. (Mar. 30, 2020)

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 1, 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 1, 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 waiving petition fees in certain situations for customers impacted by the coronavirus. So far, the USPTO has not granted waivers or extensions of dates or requirements set by statute.

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