Area of Law: Intellectual Property
Answer Number: 301
Obtaining a Patent in a foreign countryRegion: Ontario Answer Number: 301
A Canadian patent does not protect your rights in foreign markets. To protect your rights as the inventor in other countries where your invention will be marketed, you should apply for a patent in those countries.
You can apply for a foreign patent either within Canada through the Canadian Patent Office at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) by filing an international patent application, or you can apply directly to the patent office of the country concerned.
The patent rules in foreign countries may be different from the rules in Canada. For example, in many countries you will not be able to obtain a patent for an invention that has been disclosed to the public before the filing date of your patent application. This means that you must not, for example, sell, advertise, display, or publish your invention until you have filed an application for a patent.
New Patents Act
On December 16, 2014, Bill C-43 received Royal Assent, amending the Patent Act to make it consistent with international Patent law. The new Act is not yet in force.
Currently, you can file a corresponding application for your patent in another country within 12 months of your application first being filed in Canada. Along with the corresponding application, a claim for priority is also usually filed, however, priority is lost if the 12-month deadline is missed. Under the proposed changes, you will be given an extra 2 months after the original 12-month deadline to make a priority claim if the deadline was unintentionally missed.
For more information about the patent process, refer to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
The rules are sometimes different in foreign countries and it can be very complicated to apply for a foreign patent. For legal assistance with your patent application, or other intellectual property matters, contact our preferred lawyers and see who’s right for you:
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