Patent and Design Changes

As part of the government’s latest budget bill, C-43, proposed changes to the Patent Act and the Industrial Design Act have been introduced. The changes are intended to implement the Patent Law Treaty and the Geneva (1999) Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs.

The legislation, Bill C-43, entitled, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 11, 2014 and other measures, or the short title, Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2, amends a number of acts, including the Patent Act and Industrial Design Act. Of note, it does not amend the Copyright Act, as speculated earlier this month.

Amendments to the Trade-marks Act were passed in the Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 1 in June.

From the summary in the legislation (full text):

Division 1 of Part 4 amends the Industrial Design Act to make that Act consistent with the Geneva (1999) Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs and to give the Governor in Council the authority to make regulations for carrying it into effect. The amendments include provisions relating to the contents of an application for the registration of a design, requests for priority, and the term of an exclusive right for a design.
It also amends the Patent Act to, among other things, make that Act consistent with the provisions of the Patent Law Treaty. The amendments include reducing the requirements for obtaining a filing date in relation to an application for a patent, requiring that an applicant be notified of a missed due date before an application is deemed to be abandoned, and providing that a patent may not be invalidated for non-compliance with certain requirements relating to the application on the basis of which the patent was granted.

The amendments generally simplify the filing process for patents and industrial designs and provide more flexibility for implementation details in the regulations. The amendments relating to the Industrial Design Act start at section 102, and for the Patent Act start at section 114.

[Update: Dec 16, 2014 – Bill C-43 has received royal assent.]