CIPO has published proposed changes to the examination procedure for industrial designs which would send final rejections to “a subject matter expert from the policy and legislation group of the Trademarks and Industrial Designs Branch (TIDB) rather than to the Patent Appeal Board.”
The consultation is open until May 31, 2021 (link).
The rational for the change is set out as follows:
The PAB is a specialized board composed of patent experts whose primary focus is to review patent decisions. With only eleven requests for review in the last five years, ID decisions represents a marginal part of their workload. Entrusting the review of industrial design decisions to an expert from TIDB rather than to the PAB would make it easier to ensure consistency of final refusals guided by the new regime and would result in faster final decisions.