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COVID-19 Update

Updated: Aug 20


March 14, 2020

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Given the current worldwide response to COVID-19, our daily blog updates will be suspended until further notice. The Goodmans IP Team nevertheless remains fully active and ready to assist you with all of your IP-related matters and questions.


For those litigating intellectual property disputes in Canada, please be aware that both the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal have issued public notices regarding their responses to COVID-19 and the impact on scheduled hearings and case management conferences, which can be accessed here:

If you have any legal questions related to COVID-19 (including those related to other areas of law), please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Goodmans IP Team. We are fully committed to supporting you during these trying times.

March 16, 2020 Update

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The Federal Court of Appeal has now issued an updated Notice to the Parties and the Profession dated March 16, 2020, which provides that the Court "is adjourning all hearings scheduled to be heard between now and April 17, 2020, with the exception of urgent matters that will be heard by teleconference".


March 17, 2020 Update

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Federal Court: The Federal Court has now issued a Practice Direction and Order dated March 17, 2020, which, among other things:

  • adjourn all hearings between March 18 and April 17, 2020 sine die, with parties to contact the Court to re-schedule hearings no sooner than May 1, 2020 and no later than May 15, 2020; and

  • suspend the running of all timelines under Orders, Directions, the Federal Courts Rules, subsection 18.1(2) of the Federal Courts Act and paragraph 72(2)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the entirety of the period from March 18, 2020 through April 17, 2020.

CIPO: In light of the disruption caused by COVID-19, on March 17, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) announced that any deadlines imposed by the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and the Industrial Design Act that fall between March 16, 2020 and March 31, 2020, are now extended to April 1, 2020. CIPO may further extend this period if the current circumstances continue.


CIPO remains open and is in operation at this time, but clients should expect significant delays in all CIPO services. Given that the Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal regional CIPO offices are not receiving CIPO correspondence until further notice, CIPO is encouraging the use of its online services for all transactions.

March 19, 2020 Update

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Federal Court of Appeal: The Federal Court of Appeal has now issued a Notice to the Parties and the Profession dated March 19, 2020, which, among other things, suspends the calculation of time for deadlines under the Federal Courts Rules during the period from March 16, 2020 to April 17, 2020, inclusive.

March 20, 2020 Update

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Federal Court: The Federal Court has created a "FAQ" regarding its Practice Direction and Order dated March 17, 2020, which will be updated and accessible from the "Notices" section of the Federal Court's website.


Parties and counsel have also been invited to advise the Court of any additional issues arising under, or suggestions for improvement of, the Practice Direction and Order dated March 17, 2020 in writing at: media-fct@fct-cf.gc.ca


The Federal Court also intends to issue an amended Practice Direction and Order in the coming days to address the issues that have been identified.

March 30, 2020

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CIPO: Further to our update published on March 18, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) announced that deadlines imposed by the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act that fall between April 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are extended to May 1, 2020. This designation is in addition to the previous designation of the days in the period beginning March 16, 2020 and ending March 31, 2020.


CIPO may further extend this period if the current circumstances continue.

April 2, 2020

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Federal Court of Appeal: The Federal Court of Appeal has now issued a further Notice to the Parties and the Profession dated April 2, 2020, which, among other things, extends the suspension period for the calculation of time for deadlines under the Federal Courts Rules to May 15, 2020.


All matters scheduled to be heard during the extended suspension period (i.e., March 16, 2020 to May 15, 2020) are adjourned.

April 4, 2020

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Federal Court: The Federal Court has now issued a lengthy updated Practice Direction and Order dated April 4, 2020, which, among other things, extends the suspension period for the calculation of time for deadlines under the Federal Courts Rules to May 15, 2020.

All matters scheduled to be heard during the extended suspension period (i.e., March 16, 2020 to May 15, 2020) are adjourned.


The Federal Court has provided some limited exceptions to the suspension of hearings, including for: (i) urgent or exceptional matters; (ii) case management hearings; and (iii) hearings of less than two hours where all parties consent. Any such hearing would be by telephone or video conference.

April 15, 2020

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Federal Court of Appeal: The Federal Court of Appeal has now issued an "Update on the Management of Court Files During the COVID-19 Suspension Period" dated April 15, 2020.


The update explains that the Court will exempt some of its cases from the suspension period (i.e., March 16, 2020 to May 15, 2020) and that it is gradually reviewing its list of pending cases to determine which should progress.

April 27, 2020

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CIPO: Further to our updates published on March 18, 2020 and March 30, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) announced that deadlines imposed by the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act that fall between March 16, 2020 and May 15, 2020 are extended to May 18, 2020. This designation is in addition to the previous designation of the days in the period beginning March 16, 2020 and ending April 30, 2020.

CIPO may further extend this period if the current circumstances continue.

April 29, 2020

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Federal Court: The Federal Court has now issued an additional lengthy updated Practice Direction and Order dated April 29, 2020, which, among other things, extends the suspension period for the calculation of time for deadlines under the Federal Courts Rules through May 29, 2020. In addition, other than in case-managed proceedings, timelines for taking of procedural steps will be extended by an additional 14 days following the end of the suspension period, to June 12, 2020.


The Federal Court will not hold hearings until June 29, 2020. Subject to some limited exceptions, all hearings scheduled to take place between May 16, 2020 and June 28, 2020 are adjourned sine die.


May 12, 2020

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Federal Court of Appeal: The Federal Court of Appeal has issued a further Notice to the Parties and the Profession dated May 12, 2020, extending the suspension period through May 29, 2020, which aligns its suspension period with that of the Federal Court. This means that the running of time under the Federal Courts Rules, as well as under orders and directions of the Court, is suspended between March 16, 2020 and May 29, 2020.


In addition, given that provinces, Law Societies and Superior Courts have adopted and published guidelines and mechanisms temporarily allowing for the remote commissioning, swearing or affirming of affidavits, affidavits sworn or affirmed remotely during the suspension period using methods deemed acceptable in any Superior Court of any province will be accepted for filing during the suspension period.

May 13, 2020

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CIPO: Further to our updates published on March 18, 2020, March 30, 2020 and April 27, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) announced that deadlines imposed by the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act that fall between March 16, 2020 and May 29, 2020 are extended to June 1, 2020. This designation is in addition to the previous designation of the days in the period beginning March 16, 2020 and ending May 15, 2020.


CIPO may further extend this period if the current circumstances continue.

May 26, 2020

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CIPO: Further to our updates published on March 18, 2020, March 30, 2020, April 27, 2020, and May 13, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) announced that deadlines imposed by the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act that fall between March 16, 2020 and June 12, 2020 are extended to June 15, 2020. This designation is in addition to the previous designation of the days in the period beginning March 16, 2020 and ending June 1, 2020.

CIPO may further extend this period if the current circumstances continue.

May 28, 2020

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Federal Court of Appeal: The Federal Court of Appeal has issued a further Notice to the Parties and the Profession dated May 28, 2020, extending the suspension period to June 15, 2020. This means that the running of time under the Federal Courts Rules, as well as under orders and directions of the Court, is suspended between March 16, 2020 and June 15, 2020.

May 29, 2020

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Federal Court: The Federal Court has now issued an additional updated Practice Direction and Order dated May 29, 2020, which, among other things, extends the suspension period for the calculation of time for deadlines under the Federal Courts Rules through June 15, 2020. In addition, other than in case-managed proceedings, timelines for taking procedural steps will be extended to June 29, 2020.


The Federal Court will not hold in-person hearings until July 13, 2020.

June 9, 2020

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CIPO: Further to our updates published on March 18, 2020, March 30, 2020, April 27, 2020, May 13, 2020, and May 26, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) announced that deadlines imposed by the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act that fall between March 16, 2020 and July 3, 2020 are extended to July 6, 2020. This designation is in addition to the previous designation of the days in the period beginning March 16, 2020 and ending June 12, 2020.


CIPO may further extend this period if the current circumstances continue.

June 11, 2020

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Federal Court: The Federal Court has now issued an additional updated Practice Direction and Order dated June 11, 2020, which, among other things:

  • terminates the suspension period in Western Canada and Atlantic Canada on June 15, 2020 (subject to the timelines for the filing of documents and the taking of other procedural steps being extended to June 29, 2020); and

  • extends the suspension period in Ontario, Quebec and the Territories to June 29, 2020 (with the timelines for the filing of documents and the taking of other procedural steps being extended to July 13, 2020).

June 11, 2020

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Federal Court of Appeal: The Federal Court of Appeal has issued a further Notice to the Parties and the Profession dated June 11, 2020, which provides for a gradual phase-out of the suspension period. Starting on Monday, June 22, 2020, and every subsequent Monday, a list of "selected files" will be posted on the Court's website, with the suspension period ending for a "selected file" on the Monday following its inclusion on the list.

June 25, 2020

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Federal Court: The Federal Court has now issued an additional updated Practice Direction and Order dated June 25, 2020, along with a consolidated version, which, among other things, terminates the suspension period in Ontario, Quebec and the Territories on June 29, 2020, with the timelines for the filing of documents and the taking of other procedural steps being extended to July 13, 2020.

June 30, 2020

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CIPO: Further to our updates published on March 18, 2020, March 30, 2020, April 27, 2020, May 13, 2020, May 26, 2020, and June 9, 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) announced that deadlines imposed by the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act that fall between March 16, 2020 and July 17, 2020 are extended to July 20, 2020. This designation is in addition to the previous designations of the days in the period beginning on March 16, 2020 and ending on July 3, 2020.

CIPO may further extend this period if the current circumstances continue.

July 15, 2020

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CIPO: Further to our updates published on March 18, 2020, March 30, 2020, April 27, 2020, May 13, 2020, May 26, 2020, June 9, 2020 and June 30, 2020, CIPO announced that deadlines imposed by the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act that fall between March 16, 2020 and August 7, 2020 are extended to August 10, 2020. This designation is in addition to the previous designations of the days in the period beginning on March 16, 2020 and ending on July 17, 2020.

CIPO may further extend this period if the current circumstances continue.

August 5, 2020

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CIPO: Further to our previous updates, CIPO has announced a final extension to the period of designated days.

Deadlines imposed by the Patent Act, Trademarks Act and Industrial Design Act that fall between March 16, 2020 and August 21, 2020 are extended to August 24, 2020. This final designation is in addition to the previous designations of the days in the period beginning on March 16, 2020 and ending on August 7, 2020.

August 19, 2020

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CIPO: CIPO has announced that, due to online and fax service interruptions taking place from August 21, 2020 at 7 pm to August 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm, it is instituting an additional extension to the period of designated days. Designated days will now end on August 28, 2020, which means that relevant deadlines are extended until August 31, 2020.

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