The emergency legislation, Bill C-13 received Royal Assent today. It includes amendments to the Patent Act to allow compulsory licensing “to respond to the public health emergency”.
Just a reminder that renewal fees for patent and trademark agents are due by March 31, 2020.
The Federal Court has posted a FAQ on how it is handling the suspension of hearings and deadlines in view of its Practice Notice posted on March 17 (see earlier post). An amended Practice Notice is expected in the coming days. The FAQ addresses a number of issues including fixed dates: “Any specific date fixed by order or direction for completion of a step in a proceeding that is governed by the Practice Direction is extended for a period equivalent to the Suspension Period.” See the FAQ for more details.
As an update on the Ontario courts, the government made an order under s. 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act suspending limitation periods and procedural time periods. The suspension is retroactive to March 16, 2020.
In an announcement late Tuesday, the Federal Court announced that, “All Federal Court hearings previously scheduled to be heard between now and April 17, 2020 are being adjourned sine die” except for urgent or exceptional situations. In addition, “The running of all timelines under Orders and Directions of the Court made prior to March 18, 2020, as well as under the Federal Courts Rules, subsection 18.1(2) of the Federal Courts Act and paragraph 72(2)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, is being suspended for the Suspension Period. All other statutory filing deadlines continue to apply. “
CIPO has designated all days in the period of time beginning on March 16, 2020 and ending on March 31, 2020 for the purposes of subsection 78(1) of the Patent Act, subsection 66(1) of the Trademarks Act, and subsection 21(1) of the Industrial Design Act, effectively extending deadlines falling during this period.
In a series of releases on Sunday evening, CIPO stated that, “there are no extensions in place for time limits and deadlines related to acquiring or maintaining intellectual property (IP) rights with CIPO” and directs people to online solutions. A notice on the CIPO website today, says that the regional offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal are not receiving CIPO correspondence until further notice. IPIC reports that patent agent exams will be rescheduled until the fall. Continue reading CIPO
Bill C-4, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement implementation legislation received Royal Assent this afternoon. It passed the Senate before parliament suspended its session. As noted in an earlier post, Bill C-4 include a new criminal provisions on trade secrets, trademark changes on importation and in-transit goods, and some changes on copyright term.
The Federal Court announced that it is suspending in-person hearings until March 27th, stating that, “Court facilities will be closed to visitors, though the Court will remain open for urgent case-related matters. … All General Sittings of the Court are cancelled … All other hearings and trials of the Court previously scheduled to proceed during this two-week period are adjourned sine die” but hearings scheduled by telephone will go ahead. See the notice for details including on electronic filing/service and rescheduling. Federal Court of Appeal issued its own notice and says, hearings, “during the weeks of March 16th and 23rd 2020 remain on the hearing list.” but is making use of video/telephone conferencing and receiving requests for adjournment.