Legislation to amend the Patent Act, Trade-marks Act, and Industrial Design Act received Royal Assent on June 23, 2015.  Accordingly, the legislation, Bill C-59, has been passed into law.  The amendments (previously discussed here) relate most notably to statutory privilege for agents, correction of errors before the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), and extensions of time in case of force majeure events.

Statutory privilege is granted to not only Canadian patent and trade-mark agents, but also foreign agents. This amendment comes into force 12 months after the Royal Assent.

Extensions of time limits can be accorded in unforeseen circumstances, aligning Canada with a number of other jurisdictions.  This amendment comes into force on a day fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

Authority is provided to make regulations respecting the correction of obvious errors in patent and industrial design documents.  This amendment comes into force on a day fixed by order of the Governor in Council.  However, that day will not be before amendments in another bill come into force (which is expected after late 2016).

The amendments are expected to benefit rights holders by supporting the provision of advice, simplifying the correction of errors, and providing relief in unforeseen circumstances.