Canadian Intellectual Property Office Launches Pilot Program for Acceleration of Patent Applications Relating to COVID-19 Response Written By: Patrick Laycock, Partner The 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; and The 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.