Protecting inventions by filing patent applications is important for many businesses, unfortunately the majority are unaware of proper procedures and guidelines set forth by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Failing to file patent applications properly under Canada’s patent laws can lead to rejection of an application. To help inventors file patent applications efficiently, here’s a list of rules that they should follow during the process.
Patent Filing Requirements
When an inventor files a patent application, they should consider if their invention is patentable under Canadian patent law. In order to be patentable, the invention must be useful, recognizable as a subject matter as per the law, must be non-obvious, and must meet all requirements of inventiveness under the law. Products, apparatuses, compositions of matter, methods, processes and improvements are all potentially patentable.
Patent Filing Limitations
Patent Law in Canada dictates that the following are not considered patentable: mere ideas, professional skills, plants or higher forms of life, mathematical equations, or anything else that cannot be described with precision. The last point is important as the inventor must be able to describe their invention in such away that others in the field could operate it. Substantial and precise detail are important.
CIPO Database Search
Before preparing a patent application, it may be beneficial to complete a patent search. While a search is not a requirement, it can provide valuable information about potential patentability. The CIPO database is a keyword search database that allows users to search through Canadian patents and applications that have been published. If patents describing similar inventions are found, it can affect the patentability of future inventions by either limiting or preventing protection. A patent agent or lawyer may be able to assist.
The next step is the filing of an official patent application with the Patent Office as per the rules set by the office. Generally, the patent application must contain a petition, a detailed description and specification of the invention along with any drawings, an abstract, and at least one claim. Filing fees must also be paid. The claims define protection the inventor is seeking for the invention, so it is a critical component of the application.
First-To-File Policy Avoidance
The inventor should file the patent application as soon as possible before someone else files a similar patent application. Canadian patent protection is based upon a first-to-file policy, where the first application that is filed is generally granted protection where multiple similar patent applications are filed.
Filing a patent application and ensuring compliance with the Patent Laws of Canada can be a challenge, especially for small businesses and inventors. Consider reaching out to Prowse Chowne for patent assistance.