Proposed substantive amendments to the Patent Rules have been published for consultation. Among other things, the amendments overhaul filing requirements, the timing of responses to CIPO notices and the abandonment procedures and are directed to implementing the Patent Law Treaty.
The proposed amendments (link) are open for consultation from now until September 8, 2017. Some of the key changes include:
- filing requirements – The requirements to obtain a patent filing date will be simplified and electronic filing will be permitted at any time.
- representation – The rules will provide more details about who can correspondent with the patent office, including appointments of agents. Among other things, the changes would allow anyone to pay any renewal fee.
- abandonment – The rules will provide for notices of failure to meet certain deadlines that provide a period of time to response before the application is considered abandoned, and provide new periods and procedures for reinstatement. In particular, the current automatic right of reinstatement during the one year period will be replaced by reinstatement in more limited circumstances (‘due care’) with intervening third party rights. Similar limitations would apply for late entry of the national phase after the 30th month.
- changes to assignment and transfer of ownership procedures.
The expected implementation of these rules is not until late-2018, in parallel with comprehensive changes being made to the Trade-marks Regulations and the Industrial Design Regulations for which consultation took place earlier this summer.