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Patent Appeal Board Pilot Program for High-Tech Inventions

January 15, 2020

The Canadian Patent Office has recently announced a new pilot project related to the Patent Appeal Board (“PAB”).  The pilot project begins January 20, 2020 and will be in effect for a period of 12 months.

The new pilot project deals with high-tech (electrical/computer/software) applications that are rejected for non-statutory subject matter and referred to the PAB for review.  Under the new pilot project, only one member of the PAB will review the rejected application and will formulate a recommendation to the Commissioner.

Only applications that contain one ground of defect related to non-statutory subject matter rejection qualify for the pilot project.  Put another way, if an application contains more than one ground of defect it will be reviewed by the PAB in the conventional manner (i.e. by a panel of 3 PAB members).

The pilot project appears to be an attempt for the Canadian patent office to expedite the PAB process and to reduce the backlog of applications that were rejected solely for (allegedly) being directed towards non-statutory subject matter.

Information in this article is for information only.  It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice.  If you have any questions relating to the issues discussed in this post, or any other intellectual property related matter, please contact our office and a Rowand LLP professional will be pleased to assist you.