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Intellectual Property litigation in the Federal Court

Author(s): Lillian Wallace, J. Bradley White

May 11, 2020

For further information on the changes below or other intellectual property matters, please contact one of the authors above or any member of our Intellectual Property Group.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal have adjusted their operations, temporarily suspending certain timelines and hearings (the “Suspension Periods”). These adjustments have been amended in the course of the pandemic. The following highlights recent amendments made by both Courts, which extend their respective Suspension Periods while also expanding the types of matters that will proceed during the Suspension Periods.  

The Federal Court

The Suspension Period in the Federal Court is extended to May 29, 2020. 

Timelines

All deadlines under the Orders and Directions of the Court made prior to March 16, 2020, as well as under the Federal Courts Rules, subsection 18.1(2) of the Federal Courts Act and paragraph 72(2)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act are suspended from March 16 to May 29, 2020. All other statutory deadlines continue to apply.      

Following the end of the Suspension Period (i.e., May 29, 2020), the deadlines for filing or other procedural steps are extended to June 12, 2020. This 14-day extension is in addition to any time that did not run during the Suspension Period but does not apply to case managed matters. 

Hearings

During the Suspension Period, the Federal Court will consider the following matters for adjudication by teleconference, videoconference or in writing:

  • urgent or exceptional matters
  • case managed matters
  • matters at the request of a party
  • matters identified by the Court as ready to proceed
  • matters to be adjudicated in writing (e.g., motions in writing, applications for leave to apply for judicial review)

All other hearings scheduled to June 28, 2020, are adjourned sine dine. Parties have from May 15, 2020, to June 12, 2020, to provide their mutual dates of non-availability up to December 18, 2020, for the rescheduling of hearings that have been adjourned.

 More information is available on the Federal Court’s website

The Federal Court of Appeal

The Suspension Period in the Federal Court of Appeal is extended to May 15, 2020. 

Timelines

The computation of time under the Federal Courts Rules or under any Direction or Order is suspended such that time will not run from March 16 to May 15, 2020. All other statutory deadlines continue to apply, including in respect of the commencement of appeals and applications.

Hearings

Hearings scheduled to be heard up to May 15, 2020, are adjourned. In addition to requests made on consent of the parties, the Federal Court of Appeal is identifying matters that are ready to be determined. For the matters identified, the Federal Court of Appeal will make a preliminary decision as to the mode of hearing, considering, among other things, the nature of the case, its complexity and any other relevant consideration.

The Federal Court of Appeal will continue to hear urgent matters remotely.

More information is available on the Federal Court of Appeal’s website.

Further information

Our Osler IP team remains fully operational and committed to providing our clients with continued exceptional service during this difficult time, including in relation to intellectual property litigation and obtaining, maintaining and protecting IP rights. Please feel free to reach out to any member of our IP team with any questions or for more information.

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