Canadian Intellectual Property Office Launches Pilot Program for Acceleration of Patent Applications Relating to COVID-19 ResponseWritten By: Patrick Laycock, PartnerThe Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has provided a new option to expedite the patent application process for technology supporting the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, CIPO has launched a pilot project allowing accelerated examination, at no extra cost, for inventions related to medical products and processes supporting the response to COVID-19 for eligible applicants.For an Applicant to be eligible for the program, they must satisfy the following requirements:The applicant has a new or existing patent application for an invention that supports the health-related response to COVID-19; andThe applicant is a “small entity” as defined in the Canadian patent regulations. Generally, a “small entity” is one that has 50 or fewer employees or is a university. However, due to nuances in the regulations, a qualified patent agent should be consulted on this point.According to the notice released by CIPO, examination of patent applications for COVID-19 related products will be accelerated where the claimed invention is currently or has been subject to a Health Canada approval process including but not limited to:a Medical Device Licence (MDL);a Medical Device Establishment Licence (MDEL);an authorization under the Interim Order respecting the importation and sale of medical devices for use in relation to COVID-19;an investigational testing authorization (ITA);an authorization under the Interim Order Respecting Clinical Trials for Medical Devices and Drugs Relating to COVID-19;No Object Letter (NOL) for clinical trials;Notice of Compliance (NoC); and,an authorization under Interim Order Respecting the Importation, Sale and Advertising of Drugs for Use in Relation to COVID-19.To take advantage of this program, the applicant and claimed invention must satisfy the requirements set out above, and a request must be submitted to the Canadian Patent Office.If you would like more information about this program, please contact our Intellectual Property Team.Disclaimer: This article is to be used for educational and non-commercial purposes only. Parlee McLaws LLP does not intend for this article to be a source of legal advice. Please seek the advice of a lawyer before choosing to act on any of the information contained in this article.