The Canadian Intellectual Property Office recently released its 2009-2010 Business Plan to the public. The Plan is designed to direct CIPO toward its goal to “be a leading intellectual property office that is recognized for excellence in its products and services while strengthening Canada’s innovative capacity through ongoing quality improvement and continuous development of employees.”
For trademark practitioners, owners and other stakeholders, the Plan contains a few interesting tidbits:
- the Trade-mark Opposition Board plans to establish a new service standard of four months from the date of a hearing for the issuance of final decisions of the Registrar in both section 45 and opposition cases;
- the Board also plans to use 2009 to create an action plan relating to the goal of making section 45 and opposition case decisions available online;
- similarly, CIPO as a whole will use 2009 to assess activities and determine requirements related to planned support of:
- the online filing of extension of time requests for the Trade-marks Opposition Board;
- the online filing of extension of time requests at the examination stage for trade-marks;
- certain enhancements to the electronic application filing system for trade-marks; and
- the electronic transmission of examiner’s reports and trade-mark correspondence.
The Trade-marks Branch also plans to conduct a feasibility assessment related to the prospective implementation of a program to assist unrepresented owners seeking trade-mark protection, similar to programs currently offered by each of UK’s Intellectual Property Office and IP Australia.