Patent applications

Region: Ontario Answer # 297

The following is a general overview of the information that is required for a patent application. If you decide to apply for patent protection, you should consider contacting a lawyer or a registered patent agent for assistance because the application process and patent laws are complex, and an error can be fatal to your application.

Although the Patent Office at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) does not provide a standard application form for you to fill out, your patent application must follow a standard format. You must complete a petition, pay a fee, and submit information that describes your design.


First, you must fill out a petition, which is the request for a patent.  A blank petition form can be printed off the CIPO website. This form asks for the names and complete addresses of all the inventors, a title for the invention, and the name of the patent agent who will be acting on your behalf.

Patent application

Second, you must submit information about your invention. There are three parts to the submission:

  1. The abstract
  2. The specification
  3. Drawings of the invention

The abstract is a short technical description of the invention and describes how it is different from other inventions. It is basically a summary.

The specification must include a clear and complete description of the invention and its usefulness. One very important part of the specification is the “claims.” The claims are a definition of the boundaries of patent protection that you want. They are like a fence around the patented invention that protects it from trespassers. Everything that is not enclosed by this fence is freely available to be copied, manufactured, or sold by the public.

The difficult part of the application is to write the claims so that the invention is defined broadly enough to provide the maximum protection, while also being specific enough to differentiate your invention from what others have done before you. A claim can only cover what you have invented. A registered patent agent can write the claims for your application.

The final part of the required information is the drawings of the invention. There are specific requirements that must be followed with respect to the size, quality, and detail of the drawings. The drawings should also clearly show all parts of the invention defined in the claims.

Amendments to the Patent Act

On October 30, 2019 new Rules and Amendments to the Patent Act came into force, which include changes to the requirements for filing a patent application.

These changes include the following:

  • Applicants are no longer required to submit a filing fee in order to establish a filing date.  If the application fee is not submitted when the patent application is filed, the Commissioner of Patents must notify the applicants that the missed application fee and the late fee must be submitted within three months of the date of the notice. If they are not, the application will be deemed withdrawn.
  • Applicants are able to submit their application in a foreign language to establish a filing date, avoiding translation costs.
  • Applicants are allowed, for the purposes of establishing a filing date, to substitute a reference to another previously filed application, as opposed to having to resubmit other parts of the application, such as the specifications or drawings.

For more information and current government fees, visit the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website.

For legal assistance with your patent application, or other intellectual property matters, contact our preferred lawyers and see who’s right for you: 

Bereskin & Parr Intellectual Property ON All Topics March 21, 2018Bereskin & Parr Intellectual Property ON All Topics March 21, 2018

Gilbert’s LLP Intellectual Property ON All Topics March 21, 2018Gilbert’s LLP Intellectual Property ON All Topics March 21, 2018



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