News (Page 2)

Many Intellectual Property Offices have been extending deadlines in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In Canada, CIPO has confirmed that deadlines for patents, trademarks and industrial designs falling between March 16 – April 30, 2020 will now be extended to May 1, 2020. This is a follow-up to CIPO’s March 17, 2020 announcement that deadlines falling between March 16 – March 31, 2020 would be extended to April 1, 2020 (see our previous report here). We expect that this deadline could be further extended, and we will provide additional updates as the situation evolves. Hicks IP will continue to work toward meeting original deadlinesRead More →

CIPO announced on the afternoon of March 17, 2020 that, on account of the unforeseen disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Commissioner of Patents, the Registrar of Trademarks and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, have each extended all deadlines set by the Patent Act, the Trademarks Act and the Industrial Design Act, respectively, falling within the period extending from March 16 to 31, 2020. The new deadline set by the extension will be April 1, 2020. Subject to circumstances, the Commissioner, Registrar and Minister may decide to extend the new deadline further. This extension is a welcome one and covers many ofRead More →

In a recent judgment of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, Justice L.R.A. Ackerl held that although copyright subsisted in design drawings for a pipe bending machine, copyright did not extend to the machine itself. This decision draws important boundaries on what subject matter may be protected by copyright and emphasizes the need for multiple layers of IP protection to provide effective coverage. Background Proline Pipe Equipment Inc. (“Proline”) alleged, amongst other causes of action, that Provincial Rentals Ltd. (“Provincial”) infringed copyright related to its pipe bending machine. Specifically, Proline adduced evidence that: a former employee of Proline took Proline’s drawings for a pipe bendingRead More →

There are plenty of stories about the likelihood of AI taking over jobs and roles normally done by humans. Even back in 2015, the BBC was sufficiently concerned to provide a helpful page entitled “Will a robot take your job?” More recently, the patent profession has been wondering whether Artificial Intelligence might take over the inherently creative role of inventor. In a couple of recent moves, both the European Patent Office and the U.K. Intellectual Property Office have indicated that they are not yet ready to take this step. European Patent Office (EPO) Sixteen short minutes of deliberation in late December were enough to allowRead More →

Background Patenting computer programs is an area which is rife with misconceptions. Many businesses are put off pursuing patent protection because they believe that the hurdles are insurmountable. These misconceptions are understandable because computer programs fall within a grey area of “excluded subject-matter” which covers technologies that seem like they should be patentable but are not. Other such grey areas include methods of medical treatment and business methods. Even the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has been guilty of over-simplifying the situation by stating in a Patent Basics sheet that “[s]oftware is considered a literary work and cannot generally be protected with a patent”. This isRead More →

Canada has become recognized as a world leader in Artificial Intelligence (AI). As part of its Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the Government of Canada rightly celebrates that: • researchers at the University of Alberta rank #2 worldwide in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; • Montreal has the highest concentration of researchers and students of deep learning in the world, with almost 9000 students in AI and related programs; and • Toronto has the highest concentration of AI start-ups in the world. But there is healthy competition. In their wide-ranging report, “WIPO Technology Trends 2019: Artificial Intelligence”, the World Intellectual Property Office identifies international key playersRead More →

This recent case of Corning Cable Systems LLC v. Canada (Attorney General) 2019 FC 1065 relates to whether information included in the Background section of a patent application can be cited in an obviousness objection as evidence of  what was the common general knowledge (CGK). The two patent applications at issue relate to the use of Local Convergence Points (LCPs) which are adapted to distribute a signal supplied by a network service provider to units with multiple dwellings. An LCP is a housing or “box” containing a splitter module and optical fibers. The LCP receives a cable supplied by an internet service provider as an input andRead More →

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has recently published its Annual Report 2017–2018 which discusses Intellectual Property trends in Canada. For patents, in 2017–2018, CIPO received more than 34,000 applications and granted more than 24,000 new patents. Foreign applications continued to account for the majority of applications, most of which were filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The time between a client’s request for examination and the moment a patent is granted was, on average, 33.6 months in 2017–2018, down 3.1 months from the previous year and down from 42.7 months in 2013–2014. For trademarks, the volume of applications filed with CIPO has been steadilyRead More →

  The Government of Canada marked World IP Day on April 26, 2018 by announcing its first ever National IP Strategy. The Strategy will see the Government invest $85.3 million over 5 years to help Canadian businesses, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators understand, protect and access intellectual property (IP).  The Government realizes that IP (including patents, copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, plant breeders’ rights, geographical indications and trade secrets) is a valuable business asset that can provide important advantages over competitors. One part of the Strategy involves increasing IP awareness and education by providing and funding learning tools and resources, such as IP legal clinics.  The GovernmentRead More →

A recent case from the United States Federal Circuit indicates that patent claims directed to methods of medical treatment can be found to be patentable even if the method steps recite subject matter related to a natural phenomenon. The Federal Circuit affirmed a ruling of a United States District Court that claims to a method for treating a schizophrenia patient using the drug iloperidone in a dosage range based on a genotype indicating the patient’s ability to metabolize iloperidone are infringed and not invalid (Vanda Pharm., Inc. v. West-Ward Pharm. Int’l Ltd, Appeal No. 2106-2707, -08 (Fed. Cir., April 18th 2018). The issue of patentRead More →