Update: Green Technology Patents in Canada

Today the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) closed its 30-day comment period on proposed changes allowing for fast-tracking of clean tech patent applications. CIPO currently permits expedited examination of a patent application upon request and payment of a fee. The Patent Rules will be amended to expand the existing criteria to allow accelerated examination of patent applications relating to “green technologies.”  There is no definition of “green technologies”. To take advantage of the fast-track program, applicants must submit a declaration as to the technology’s ability to “resolve or mitigate environmental impacts or conserve the natural environment and resources if commercialized.” No additional fee would be required.  It will be interesting to see how the process will ultimately be implemented, how declarations will be scrutinized, and how much quicker examination will take place. No additional CIPO resources have been committed to this program, so it remains to be seen whether success in expediting a high volume of green technology inventions will draw resources away from routine examinations.

With comments closed, the changes to the Patent Rules can proceed to the next stage. Canada will then join the US, Australia, Israel, Japan, South Korea and the UK in a fast-track program for cleantech patents.  The USPTO is also planning to extend and expand its own Green Technology Pilot Program.

Calgary – 09:00 MT

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