New Practice on Extensions of Time for Trade-mark Applications

The Canadian Trade-marks Office (TMO) has announced upcoming practice change regarding  extensions of time to respond to examination reports. Presently, multiple extensions of time are available if sufficient reasons justifying each extension are provided. This has been the practice for many years.

Starting March 11, 2010, the TMO will generally grant only one six month extension of time to respond to an examination report. The applicant must demonstrate exceptional circumstances to obtain a further extension.

Examples of what may constitute an exceptional circumstance, per the Practice Notice, include  circumstances beyond the control of the person concerned (e.g. illness, accident, death or bankruptcy) or the applicant’s initiation of opposition or section 45 proceedings against a mark cited against the application.

If the applicant does not convince the TMO that a further extension is warranted, the application will default and subsequently become abandoned if the default is not cured within the allotted time. If the application becomes abandoned, the applicant will have to re-file,  incurring additional costs and delays.  Consequently, applicants must be prepared to timely address trade-mark examination reports to avoid the consequences of abandonment.

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