Given the many challenges faced by all businesses in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has advised that it will relax filing deadlines for the remainder of March 2020.  This decision was first announced on March 16, 2020 and further updated yesterday, March 19, 2020.

What you need to know

All deadlines under the Trademarks Act, Patents Act and Industrial Design Act falling between March 16, 2020 and March 31, 2020 inclusive are automatically extended to April 1, 2020 as a result of the unforeseen disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.  CIPO is also prepared to further extend the April 1, 2020 deadline if warranted by the circumstances.

At this time, CIPO remains open for business and as such, to the extent possible, we recommend clients continue to meet deadlines as they fall due.  Moreover, since CIPO is still open, clients should not rely on this exceptional extension provided by CIPO to secure an application priority date.

In the circumstances, clients should expect significant delays in all CIPO services.

CIPO’s regionals offices are closed. However, in order to ensure continuity of their services, CIPO’s online solutions are still available 24/7.

Our technology infrastructure enables our professionals and staff to work remotely for an extended period. As such, we will continue to meet original CIPO deadlines as instructed by clients. The extension however provides clients a safety net to help navigate this unprecedented situation.

For more information on the legal implications of COVID-19, please consult our COVID-19 Hub. As a full service global firm with offices across Canada, Norton Rose Fulbright is closely monitoring this evolving situation over a number of practice areas including employment and labour, risk advisory, banking and finance, corporate, M&A and securities, and dispute resolution and litigation, and across a variety of industries including energy, infrastructure, mining and commodities, financial institutions, life sciences and healthcare, technology and innovation, and transport.