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Canada Modernises Intellectual Property Regime

Canada has repealed and replaced its existing Patent Rules in an effort to modernise its intellectual property regime, join several international IP treaties (including the Patent Law Treaty), and align its patent regime with those of its major trading partners such as the United States, Australia, France and the United Kingdom.

Among other things, Canada has updated aspects of the Patent Rules, codified procedures that were previously contained in practice notices, better aligned certain rules with comparable provisions in the Trademarks Regulations and the Industrial Design Regulations, and streamlined certain aspects of the patent application prosecution process (i.e., the steps and interactions between the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and the applicant in respect of the application between the filing date and the grant or refusal of the patent that is the subject of the application).

Canadian authorities indicate that if Canada did not make these regulatory changes it would not be able to join the Patent Law Treaty and Canadians “would forgo the benefits of a modernized, internationally aligned patent regime.” These amendments will enter into force when the new rules are implemented to give effect to the new provisions in the legislation.

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