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June 10, 2020 Update: Innovating During the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 10, 2020 Intellectual Property and Technology Bulletin 3 minute read

Updated from June 4, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada continues to invest heavily into the research and development of innovative solutions to solve the challenges that we continue to face today.  Below is a summary of some of the opportunities that your business may be interested in exploring:

  • Clinical Trials: On May 23, 2020, Canada’s Minister of Health issued an Interim Order with regard to clinical trials for medical devices and drugs related to COVID-19.  The Interim Order is intended to encourage clinical trials for novel and effective therapies and treatment options.  For more details on the Interim Order, please visit this link.
  • Community Health and Safety: As a part of its COVID-19 Program, the Digital Technology Supercluster is accepting submissions for projects related to health systems, community health, safe living, diagnostic and therapeutics, emergency response, and other technology solutions that can address the effects of COVID-19.  For more details on this opportunity, please visit this link.
  • AI for use in Healthcare: As a part of its “AI for Health Initiative”, Microsoft is providing grants to potential collaborators from the not-for-profit, academia, and government sectors for the purpose of furthering COVID-19 related health and research initiatives.  For more details on the opportunity, please visit this link. The closing date for submissions is June 15, 2020.
  • Social Policy: As a part of its “Partnership Engage Grants COVID-19 Special Initiative”, Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is accepting grant applications to further research on COVID-19 crisis related issues, challenges and impacts.  For more details on this opportunity, please visit this link.  The closing date for submissions is June 15, 2020.
  • Diagnostic Tools: The National Research Council of Canada is seeking a solution for reagents used for testing for SARS-CoV-2.  For more details on the research opportunity, please visit this link.  The closing date for submissions is June 16, 2020.
  • Clean Technology: Canada’s Department of National Defence is looking to resolve challenges in the areas of analytics for disease mapping and monitoring, decontamination of equipment, and sanitization of work environments.  For more details on this opportunity, please visit this link.  The closing date for submissions is June 23, 2020.
  • Diagnostic Tools: As a part of its “Diagnostic Development Initiative”, Amazon is providing grants to potential collaborators from research institutions, research groups, and private entities for the purpose of bringing diagnostic solutions to market.  For more details on the opportunity, please visit this link.  The closing date for submissions is June 30, 2020.
  • Response Procedures: As a part of its “COVID Decision Modeling Initiative”, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is inviting eligible applicants to submit proposals related to COVID-19 response decision models.  For more details on the opportunity, please visit this link.  The closing date for submissions is June 30, 2020.

In an effort to ease the burden of companies during this pandemic, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) have the following updates:

  • CIPO: Deadlines falling within the period of March 16, 2020 and July 3, 2020 are now extended to July 6, 2020.  CIPO may continue to extend the deadlines if it remains in the public interest to do so.
  • CIPO: To access CIPO’s COVID-19 Response Resource Centre, please visit this link.
  • USPTO: The USPTO has launched a “COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program” to fast track examination of patent applications related to COVID-19.  For more information, please visit this link and this link.
  • USPTO: Patent term extensions are available for patent applications, provided that they meet certain criteria.  For more information, please visit this link.
  • USPTO: To access the USPTO’s “COVID-19 Response Resource Center”, please visit this link.

In mid-May, the Government of Canada launched the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (the “RRRF”).  The RRRF provides close to $1 billion in funding to businesses and organizations in sectors including, but not limited to, manufacturing, technology and tourism.  The funds are distributed among six regional development agencies, each covering a different geographical region in Canada.  For more information on the RRRF, please visit this link.

by Pablo Tseng and Robert C. Piasentin

a cautionary note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2020

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