Patent Amendments

The new Patent Rules, coming into force on October 30, 2019, have been published in the Canada Gazette Part II. The modernization of the Patent Act and Rules allows Canada to ratify the Patent Law Treaty. Key changes relate to filing requirements, priority claims, agent representation and register, examination and amendments, corrections, abandonments/reinstatements, transfers, due care/third party rights, and divisionals.

From the Canada Gazette Part II:

From the announcement:

The Government of Canada is moving to modernize Canada’s intellectual property (IP) regime and join several international IP treaties, including, in regards to patents, the PLT which Canada signed in 2001. Implementing the PLT will better align Canada’s existing patent regime under the Patent Act and the Patent Rules with those of its major trading partners that are already members of the PLT, including the United States, Australia, France and the United Kingdom.

The announcement includes a summary of changes made since the proposed Patent Rules were published in December 2018 and the rationale for accepting or rejecting comments received during the consultation period.

The publication notes that there will be a burden on patent agents to become familiar with the amended Rules:

It is anticipated that patent agents in Canada would need an average of 16 hours to become familiar with the new Rules. This estimate is based on the two consultation sessions that CIPO held to solicit agent feedback on amendments to the Act and on the regulatory changes. It is further broken down by assuming that a quarter of registered patent agents will need to become familiar with all elements of the new Rules, which would require 40 hours of training (one full week). The remaining three quarters would only need eight hours (one day) to learn about the changes that are relevant to them. It is anticipated that this learning phase will cost patent agents approximately $2.3 million (2012 CY) in equivalent time as a one-time upfront cost.