The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has amended their patent rules on March 3rd allowing for an accelerated examination of ‘green’ technology patents without additional fee. Effective April 30th, some current applicants will have to exercise certain rights to preserve their accelerated examination status. ‘Green’ technology patents have been established as a priority by the Canadian government as they wish to ensure that environmentally beneficial patents reach the marketplace more rapidly.
“Accelerating the prosecution of patent applications relating to environmental (green) technologies within the Canadian intellectual property system will foster investment and expedite commercialization of technologies that could help to resolve or mitigate environmental impacts or to conserve the natural environment and resources.” –CIPO – http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr02462.html
An additional benefit of the accelerated examination processing is the three to six month return on examiner office actions, but the time allowed for response to the office actions has been reduced to three months. The CIPO will also have no authority to advance patents that have been abandoned:
“the Commissioner shall not advance the examination of the application out of its routine order and shall return to its routine order any examination that has been advanced if, after April 30, 2011,
(a) the Commissioner extends, under subsection 26(1), the time fixed by these Rules or by the Commissioner under the Act for doing anything in respect of the application; or
(b) the application is deemed to be abandoned under subsection 73(1) of the Act whether or not it is reinstated under subsection 73(3) of the Act.”
For more information read the announcement from CIPO http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr02462.html as well as the full amendment: http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2011/2011-03-16/html/sor-dors61-eng.html