How to Patent Your Ideas and Assets in Canada: Part 1

What happens when you have a new invention for a product, method or process? You may start selling your product or invention and later learn that others have started reproducing your invention for their own profits. Some people choose to ignore these reproductions and not take any action. If someone else has invented something similar and filed for patent protection, it is possible that they could prevent you from using what you invented. Being the first to file a patent application can be incredibly valuable in situations like this.

Patent protection is obtained on a country by country basis. It is possible to have patent protection in one country but not in another. Patent laws vary from country to country. That said, Canadian patent law is strong and is worth pursuing. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining a patent in Canada:

1) Consider Starting with a Patent Search

There are many reasons for filing a patent application but in order to successfully obtain an issued patent, your invention must be considered new, useful and non-obvious. Starting with a patent search can help make a determination about originality and the potential for successfully obtaining an issued patent. Fortunately, modern technology makes this reasonably easy to do. Head to the Canadian Patents Database, which is run by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). Here you can search through 75 years’ worth of patents, using everything from keywords (Boolean search) to images and descriptions. A patent search may be the end of the process for some people if references are found that describe their invention.

If you do not find an existing patent or application that is related to your invention, it may be time to take things a step further by enlisting the assistance of a patent agent to complete a more detailed search or begin the preparation of a patent application. A patent agent can assist with the entire patent process and provide guidance throughout the process.

If you have any questions about filing a new application or reviewing an existing one, contact our team of patent lawyers and agents for a free consultation.