Patent registration in Canada allows innovators to protect their inventions and inventions-in-progress from theft or unauthorized replication. This article discusses the process of patent registration in Canada, the legal requirements as well as the official fees involved during the procedure. Also read our article about utility patent registration in the USA.
1. What can and cannot be patented in Canada?
2. What documents are required to register a patent in Canada?
3. Patent registration procedure in Canada
4. How much does a patent registration in Canada cost?
5. Final thoughts
1. What Can and Cannot be Patented in Canada?
A patent is a form of protection provided to inventors for their inventions and gives them the exclusive right to make, use, and sell their inventions for a certain period of time, usually 20 years from the date of filing. A patent is the most comprehensive form of intellectual property protection available in Canada.
To be patentable, an invention must be new, useful, and innovative:
- New – an invention is the first of its kind in the world;
- Useful – an invention works or has a useful function;
- Innovative – an invention is a new development or an improvement of an existing technology that would not have been obvious to someone working in an area of specialty.
To be granted a patent, an invention must be:
- a product (e.g., a door lock);
- a composition (e.g., a chemical composition used in lubricants for door locks);
- a machine (e.g., a machine for making door locks);
- a process (e.g., a method for making door locks);
- an improvement on any of these.
Inventions that can’t be patented:
- disembodied ideas, concepts, or discoveries;
- scientific principles and abstract theorems;
- methods of medical treatment or surgery;
- higher life forms;
- forms of energy;
- features of solely intellectual or aesthetic significance;
- printed matter.
2. What Documents are Required to Register a Patent in Canada?
1. The petition for grant of a patent. It is a formal request for a patent that has to be completed. It consists of:
- the title of a patent,
- applicants’ name and address,
- co-applicants’ names and addresses (if applicable).
2. Statement of entitlement. To apply for a patent, an applicant must provide one of the following statements:
- an applicant or applicants are entitled to apply for a patent;
- an applicant is the sole inventor of the subject matter;
- applicants are all sole inventors of the subject matter.
3. Information about inventors. An applicant must provide the names and addresses of all inventors.
4. Abstract. An abstract is a short summary (150 words or fewer) that describes an invention and how it can be used. Abstracts are mainly used when searching patent databases.
5. Claims. Claims are the legal foundation that protects an invention.
6. Description. It should be clear enough so that anyone can use an invention using only the description provided.
7. Drawings. Whenever possible, it’s important to include a drawing of inventions.
8. Small entity declaration (if applicable). A small entity declaration is a declaration that states that an applicant is a small entity. It only needs to be provided once. The statement must refer to all applicants. It must be signed by an appointed patent agent or another authorized person.
9. Power of attorney (if applicable). It is an agent appointment document, in case there is one.
10. Priority document. It must be filed within 16 months starting from the earliest priority date or 4 months after the filing date.
3. Patent Registration Procedure in Canada
After an application is submitted, an examiner will review an application and provide a report. This report will explain whether an invention is patentable. If the examiner believes so, they will issue a Notice of Allowance and provide instructions for the next steps.
The application is checked for compliance with the formal requirements of the patent office, such as the availability of documents or the payment of official fees.
If an application does not meet the minimum requirements to get a filing date, an examiner will inform an applicant about missing information. The response must be provided within 2 months.
If an applicant responds by the deadline, the filing date becomes the latest date when the last missing was received document. If an applicant does not respond by the deadline, an application will be deemed to have never been filed.
Search and publication
The application will be available in the publicly accessible Canadian Patents Database 18 months after the filing date (or earliest priority date). Otherwise, an applicant can request the application to be open to public inspection earlier.
An examination process does not begin automatically. An applicant must request it within 4 years from the filing date.
If an applicant does not request it within the 4-year period, they will receive a notice and will have 2 months to request an examination. However, they will have to pay the late fee and examination fee.
Patent examiners often have questions or objections to claims in a patent application. To move forward, an applicant needs to fix the issues raised by the examiner in an application. If the application does not meet the legal requirements for patentability, the applicant will be sent the examiner’s report listing objection(s) and given a chance to respond.
The applicant should get the first examiner’s report within 14 months of requesting an examination. They have 4 months to respond after the mailing date of the examiner’s report. It takes 5 to 9 months to reconsider an application after an applicant has responded to the report.
If a patent application meets the requirements, an applicant will be sent a notice of allowance with the information about the fees to be provided. These are
- a final fee;
- an excess page fee for each page of the specification and drawings;
- an excess claims fee for each claim over 20 that was not paid when requesting examination.
If the applicant does not pay the final fee by the deadline (4 months after the mailing date of the notice), the patent application is considered abandoned.
Maintenance fees are paid in advance, on or before each anniversary of the filing date, starting with the second anniversary.
Late payment is possible — within 2 months from an official notice or 6 months after the due date (whichever is later) by paying a corresponding late payment fee.
Granting of a patent
After all the fees are paid, the patent is officially granted. Once granted, the patent is published in the Canadian Patent Office journal and is enforceable in Canada for 20 years from the filing date.
4. How much does a patent registration in Canada cost?
As mentioned earlier, different fees must be paid during the patent application process and after a patent is granted. If an applicant is a small entity, they are entitled to benefits for the payment of official fees.
Request for examination fees
Fees for each claim in excess of 20
For each page of specification and drawings, in excess of 100 pages
For the dates of each of the 2nd, 3d and 4th anniversaries of the filing date
For the dates of each of the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th anniversaries of the filing date
For the dates of each of the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th anniversaries of the filing date
For the dates of each of the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th anniversaries of the filing date
The patent registration cost in Canada via the iPNOTE platform starts from as low as $1600, which includes all government fees (filing and examination) as well as document preparation. Find the best patent agent in Canada on iPNOTE.
5. Final thoughts
Patent registration in Canada can be a complicated process, requiring extensive knowledge of the applicable laws and regulations. Working with a qualified patent agent is important to ensure all necessary steps are taken. With the correct guidance and resources, the process of registering a patent in Canada can be carried out much easier.
The iPNOTE platform features more than 700 IP law firms that cover more than 150 countries, so you can always find the right direct service provider using our flexible filtering system. Look at our directory of patent attorneys in Canada.
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