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Archived updates for Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Canada Adopts U.S. Electronic Signature Format, Tests Patent Prosecution Highway

According to the announcement on January 18, 2008, the Canadian Intellectual property Office's online patent application now allows applicants who intend to claim small entity status to sign the petition electronically with a "low level signature." by typing in his or her name into a special section of the electronic form. When the petition is automatically generated, the signature appears within slashes, for example, as / XXXX /, on the petition and is treated as an official signature. CIPO will consider this equivalent to a signed small entity declaration, compliant with subsection 3.01 (1) of the Patent Rules. Unfortunately, the declaration of entitlement is still not available when you fill in your application online. Therefore applicants who file electronically are also required to submit the declaration of entitlement, by fax or post, to CIPO as a separate document in order to ensure that the application complies with section 94(2) of the Patent Rules.
On January 28, 2008, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) will also launch a one-year Canada-U.S. Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) joint pilot. The objective of the trial is to gauge the interest of applicants and to assess the anticipated benefits to each office. The USPTO and CIPO will evaluate the results of the pilot program to determine whether the program should be fully implemented after the trial period. During the pilot, CIPO will process requests for advance prosecution under the PPH program free of charge. CIPO will evaluate what, if any, fees should apply for this service if it later becomes permanent. Regular fees (Schedule II of the Patent Rules) for requesting examination will continue to apply during the PPH pilot.

More USPTO-PPH notices here, via Daily Dose of IP.
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