Canada Changes Rules to Speed Up Green Patents

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OTTAWA--Industry Canada March 16 published finalized amendments to the country's patent rules to speed up approvals of patents for commercialization of environmental technologies. The existing rules permit expedited review of patent applications, but only if the normal review period would likely prejudice the applicant's rights, the department said in a statement published with the finalized amendments in the March 16 issue of the Canada Gazette, Part II. The changes will affect “patent applications relating to green technologies that could help to resolve or mitigate environmental impacts or conserve the natural environment and resources,” it said. The department said a number of concerns were raised by the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada after the proposed amendments appeared in draft form in the Oct. 3, 2010, issue of the Canada Gazette, Part I, but that no changes were made because the existing legislative framework provides tools to address the institute's concerns. The finalized changes to the Patent Rules are available at