Patent Attorneys

This section is for Patent Attorneys outside Canada looking to file patents in Canada.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is a Canadian federal government agency under the direction of the Minister of Industry that houses the Patent Office, the Trade-Marks Office, the Industrial Designs Office and the Copyright Branch. The Commissioner of Patents is likewise the head of the other CIPO Offices. CIPO is located in Gatineau, Québec, some two hours from Montréal.

Population: 32.9 million

Size of economy: 8th largest in the world, highly integrated with US economy

Character of economy (by GDP): 31% Manufacturing, 3% Agriculture, 66% Services

Legal system: Common Law for IP Statutes and all provinces except Québec (Civil Law) International

Treaties: Paris Convention, PCT, WTO-TRIPS and PLT (coming in-force soon)

Novelty and Grace Period: Invention must not be disclosed in any form anywhere in the world before priority date, with an exception for information disclosed directly or indirectly from the Applicant not more than one year before filing date in Canada or PCT International Filing Date. No declaration of non-prejudicial disclosure is required for grace period effect. Content of unpublished Canadian patent applications having earlier filing date are prior art for novelty, but not obviousness.

Publication: Automatic at 18 months.

Term: 20 years from filing date.

Maintenance fees: Due annually from 2nd anniversary of filing date to 19th.

Examination: Substantive examination. Request to be filed by 5th anniversary. First Office Action issued about 2 years from request for examination.

Claims: PCT-style multiple dependencies accepted by Rule. EPO-style dependencies often accepted. No claim fees or limits.

Languages accepted at filing: English or French only.

Power of Attorney: not required for agent presenting application or national phase.

Certified copies of priority documents: Not required or accepted at filing.

Assignment: Optional but recommended for transfer of rights from inventors to initial Applicant. Original of assignment document not required.

PCT national phase entry due date: 30 months. Late entry permitted by 42 months with payment of late fee (no petition or justification required). Caution: Late entry is the only safeguard mechanism to correct a defect making a national phase entry incomplete, and it is not recommended for regular use.

Statistics Canada