Recently, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) published an updated version of the Manual of Patent Office Practice (“MOPOP”) to reflect the amendments made to the Patent Act and the new Patent Rules. The amended Patent Act and the new Patent Rules aim to modernize the patent legislative regime and will permit Canada to implement the Patent Law Treaty. The modernized patent legislative regime will bring several changes and some examples are:
- restoration of the priority right will be available in appropriate circumstances;
- filing requirements in order to receive an official filing date will be simplified;
- filing dates can be received via electronic submission at any time, including weekends and holidays;
- 42-month late national phase entry as of right will no longer be available for PCT applications filed on or after 30 October 2019, although it will still be possible to enter the national phase in Canada within this time period if the failure to enter the national phase by the 30-month deadline was unintentional;
- reinstatement as of right will no longer be permitted for applications abandoned due to missed maintenance fees, although reinstatement is still possible if the deadline was missed despite all due care required by the circumstances having been taken, and a six-month late payment grace period is added; and
- third party intervening rights will be introduced as an exemption from infringement in certain circumstances where a patent application was abandoned.
The updated version of the MOPOP will be effective on 30 October 2019, on which day the new Patent Rules will come into force. Although the MOPOP is not considered legally binding, the updated version of the MOPOP will be a useful document, as it sets out CIPO’s interpretation of the modernized patent legislative regime.