CIPO joins global patent framework

Canadian businesses looking for swift international recognition of their patents can celebrate this week. On Monday, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office entered into a global framework that will significantly reduce wait times for international patent approvals.

The new Global Patent Prosecution Highway improves on the individual PPH agreements of the past — replacing numerous bilateral agreements with a single, harmonized multilateral agreement.

Sean Alexander is a patent agent in the Vancouver office of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP. He notes, for those unfamiliar, that patent “prosecution” has nothing to do with criminal prosecution. “When you file a patent application and then argue with the patent office about whether it’s deserving of being granted, that’s called patent prosecution.”

The process typically lasts two to three years — a lengthy wait time that can be compounded if the applicant seeks prosecution in multiple jurisdictions. “Right now the process is very slow,” says Alexander. “You file your patent application. You request examination of the application, and then you can wait two, three years before you actually get an examination report from the patent office.”

What PPH agreements allow, then, is for an applicant to use patent approval in one jurisdiction in order to persuade a patent office in another jurisdiction with similar standards. “Canada, for example, will be persuaded by the U.S. finding that a patent claim is novel and inventive,” says Alexander.

The effect is a greatly reduced prosecution time: “Instead of waiting a couple of years for the first action, you probably wait three to six months.”

The Global PPH program takes that concept one step further — allowing the applicant to persuade 15 other jurisdictions in a single application. (The Canadian Intellectual Property Office publishes a list of all PPH partners on its web site.)

“It’s going to be a benefit for a lot of companies applying for patents,” says Alexander, “because now instead of dealing with individual requirements, you’re just dealing with one single set of requirements.”

Recent articles & video

Support orders not automatically spent if ‘child of marriage’ hits age of majority: BC appeal court

BC Supreme Court partially varies will to ensure fair estate distribution

Lyne Raymond appointed to New Brunswick Provincial Court in Fredericton

BC Provincial Court welcomes new judges Parveen Nijjar and Paul Pearson

BC expands early resolution services for family law matters

Ontario Superior Court approves settlement in mortgage renewal class action

Most Read Articles

BC Supreme Court upholds trust company's estate administration amid beneficiary dispute

Alberta Court of Appeal reinstates sanctions on naturopathic doctor for unprofessional conduct

SCC reinforces Crown's narrow scope to appeal acquittal

Roberta Kaplan departs Kaplan Hecker & Fink amid controversy to launch new firm