Over the past several years, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has introduced a series of measures designed to enhance the efficiency and consistency of trademark examination, including a pre-assessment regime (see our earlier articles here and here and our backgrounder on pre-assessment here). In furtherance of these goals, CIPO recently announced some additional incremental changes to examiner’s reports and pre-assessment notices.
In particular, CIPO will gradually start to issue enhanced first examiner’s reports containing headings and subheadings which will clearly identify the objections raised and requirements, along with relevant references to the Trademarks Examination Manual. For now, these enhanced examiners reports will be issued only on first reports in respect of national applications filed directly with CIPO, but they will eventually extend to first reports issued on Protocol applications as well as subsequent examiner’s reports.
Furthermore, following the implementation of automated pre-assessment letters, which, at present, simply inform trademark owners whether their applications contain one or more goods or services that are either not in specific or ordinary commercial terms, or are not properly classified, CIPO is now implementing enhanced pre-assessment letters which will contain more details in terms of acceptability of the goods and services. For example, the newly issued pre-assessment letters will identify the specific goods or services that are considered acceptable, allowing applicants to identify and focus on the goods and services that are unacceptable, which should substantially ameliorate the pre-assessment process for applicants.
These welcome new measures should benefit all stakeholders as they further CIPO’s efforts to improve the timing and consistency of examination.
If you need any assistance, please contact a member of our trademarks team.