CIPO: Amendments to Intellectual Property Regulations Benefit Universities and Businesses

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), a special operating agency of Industry Canada, today announced the coming into force of regulatory amendments effective June 2, 2007, ensuring Canada's intellectual property (IP) regime is more user-friendly, cost-effective and responsive to the needs of Canadian universities and businesses.

"This is good news for intellectual property practices in Canada, especially for small businesses," said Secretary of State Gerry Ritz, on behalf of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry. "Small and medium-sized companies and universities that qualify can save up to $3000 over the life of a patent by applying at the small-entity level. As well, many of the amendments will help reduce their paperwork burden in this area."

The main purpose of the regulatory changes is to clarify the patent regime for small entities — universities and organizations with 50 or fewer employees — while providing a relief mechanism for regular-sized entities that mistakenly pay fees at the small-entity level. The amendments will also improve the IP regime by simplifying procedures and reducing processing times and costs, in keeping with the legislation principles of Smart Regulation and the Paperwork Burden Reduction Initiative.

In November 2006, Canada's New Government released its long-term economic plan, Advantage Canada. The plan emphasizes the Government of Canada's commitment to reduce the administrative and paperwork burden on business by 20 percent. Budget 2007 committed to achieving this target by November 2008.

Regulations that benefit from the amendments include the Patent Rules, the Trade-marks Regulations, the Industrial Design Regulations, the Integrated Circuit Topography Regulations and the Copyright Regulations that came into force on June 2, 2007. Certain regulations dealing with trademark opposition proceedings, as specified in the Trade-marks Regulations, come into force on October 1, 2007.

(CIPO, June 4, 2007)