CIPO’S COVID-19 EXTENSION OF DEADLINES WILL END ON AUGUST 31, 2020

As reported earlier, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has made a series of announcements since its first announcement of March 17, 2020, to "designate" all days in the period of time beginning on March 16, 2020 and ending on August 21, 2020 as "designated days". All deadlines for patents, trademarks and industrial designs falling in the period between March 16, 2020 and August 21, 2020 were extended to August 24, 2020 (August 22, 2020 and August 23, 2020 being Saturday and Sunday, respectively).  CIPO indicated that the previous designation was the “final” designation, which effectively meant that there would be no further extension of deadlines beyond August 24, 2020.

That “final” extension was further extended to August 31, 2020 by CIPO in a further announcement made on August 19, 2020, to designate additional days so that designated days will now end on August 28, 2020.

When it was first announced that all designated days would end on August 21, it was anticipated that there could be an excessively large number of last minute filings over the weekend of August 22 and 23 and on Monday, August 24, 2020, due to the large number of applications with deadlines falling between March 16, 2020 and August 24, 2020. Coincidently, CIPO also scheduled part of the weekend for maintenance of its online filing and facsimile services. This would have put additional pressure on some of the applicants (and their service providers) to meet the deadlines by August 24, due to interruptions to CIPO’s online filing and facsimile services. This extra extension should have provided the welcome relief to these applicants. Nevertheless, as recommended by CIPO, applicants should complete their required actions now if they are in a position to do so, instead of waiting any further.

As noted previously, the deadlines extended by designated days are those fixed under Canada's Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act for doing anything before CIPO. Other deadlines are not extended by CIPO’s designations. Thus, for example, a deadline to file a PCT application with CIPO as receiving office is not affected.

If you have questions about the time extensions, please contact us.