Due to the unforeseen circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commissioner designated a period of days under subsection 78(2) of the Patent Act, thereby extending most deadlines fixed by the Act and the Patent Rules until the end of the period of designated days.
The period of days designated under subsection 78(2) of the Act has ended. Patent applicants and patentees who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic may still request a further extension of time under subsection 3(1) of the Rules. Subsection 3(1) of the Rules allows the Commissioner of Patents to extend any period of time fixed by the Rules as long as administrative requirements are met, and as long as the Commissioner is satisfied that the circumstances justify an extension. In order to determine whether the circumstances justify an extension of time, a specific justification must be provided for the Commissioner's consideration.
Requests that refer to the pandemic without explaining how the pandemic prevented the applicant or patentee from meeting a deadline will be refused. Requests that make vague references to difficulties related to the pandemic will be refused if they do not specify the difficulties encountered.
The Commissioner will consider granting an extension of time if the request states specifically how the applicant or patentee or their patent agent has been impacted by the pandemic.
If a request for extension of time is refused because the Commissioner does not consider the circumstances to justify an extension of time, this may be because the circumstances were not described in the request. In these cases, as long as the existing deadline has not expired, the applicant or patentee may wish to submit a subsequent request containing a detailed description of the circumstances.