Getting a Patent in Canada

With one of the largest economies in the world and the top ten trading nations, Canada is a highly globalized country in the world. With a strong financial system and a technology developed country with an approximate GDP worth trillions of dollars, Canada is the next stop destination for the inventors seeking protection for their invention. This technologically advanced nation depends on the patent system for scientific advancement and economic strength. For a strong patent system and giving inventors monopolies on their creation for a specific period, Canada provides an attractive incentive for research and development, which ultimately benefits the inventor and the citizens there as well. Providing strong patent protection in Canada makes the inventor take the risk of investing the time or money needed to create or perfect a new product. The patent document describing a new aspect of a technology in clear and specific terms making them vital resources for businesses, researchers, academics, and others who need to keep up with developments in their fields.

Requirement for a Patent

For the patent to be granted it is important to know the requirements that are necessary to be proved at the patent office for the grant of the patent.  There are three basic criteria for patentability—novelty, utility, and inventiveness: Novelty— To be granted a patent, the invention must be the first of its kind in the world. Utility— A valid patent cannot be obtained for something that does not work or that has no useful function. The door lock must work. Inventiveness— To be patentable, your invention must be a new development or an improvement of an existing technology that would not have been obvious to someone working in your area of specialty. The door lock must add an improvement to the field of door locks.

CIPOIn Canada, almost 90% of the patents are improvements of previous inventions. While obtaining the patent for an improvement, it has to be clear that the original patent may be still in force which might lead to infringement of the original patent. For this, it is better to have an agreement with the inventor of the original patent to not lead to any infringement. The team at GPF will be ready to help you with any such situations.

Patent Search

To get rid of any such situation, it is pertinent to check with the patent information available with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). CIPO has the largest collection in Canada of current technological know-how from around the world. It contains more than two million Canadian patent publications (grants and open to public inspection applications), most of which are searchable on the website or one can do an in-person search at the CIPO Client Service Centre.

It is highly advisable that the information must be checked before moving on with the invention which will be very helpful. Not getting into the resources can cost time and money in case there arises any litigation. This search will also give a better idea for tackling any further technical problems and even keep the inventor prepare if any dispute arises.

Preparing the Application and Examination

Normally the same for all the patent offices, in Canada the patent application will consist of an abstract, a specification, and, in most cases, drawings. The Canada patent office explains what all documents must constitute. The abstract will be a summary of the contents of the specification. The specification must denote a clear and complete description of the invention and its usefulness. The claims in the specification must address the boundaries of the invention clearly and accurately. The claim must be broad enough to provide the maximum protection and it must also be specific enough to identify the exact subject matter.

To receive an official filing date in Canada, you must submit no less than the following:

  • an indication that the elements submitted are intended to be an application for a patent;
  • the information which allows the applicant to be identified;
  • the information which allows the applicant to be contacted; and
  • a document, in any language, that on the face of it appears to be a description.

A complete patent application includes the information required to obtain a filing date as well as the following:

  • Formal petition for grant of a patent
  • Abstract of the invention
  • Claim or claims to the invention
  • Any drawings mentioned in the description
  • A biological sequence listing, if applicable, in electronic format
  • Appointment of a patent agent, when required
  • The application fee
  • A signed small entity declaration, if applicable
  • A statement of entitlement
  • Names and addresses of the inventors

On a similar line as in India, the examination is not automatic and must be done after the request and with the payment of fees within 4 years. The examiner's objection will be outlined in a report or letter called a "Patent Office action," which will list the objections, and set a date for you to reply. There can be further action and the examiner may ask for further amendments even after your reply. If the examiner makes a final objection to your application, you have the right to appeal to the Commissioner of Patents, requesting that the Commissioner review the examiner's objection.

Author: Saransh Chaturvedi (an advocate) currently pursuing LLM from Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (IIT Kharagpur).  In case of any queries please contact/write back Global Patent Filing us at

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