Area of Law: Intellectual Property
Answer Number: 297
Patent applicationsRegion: Ontario Answer Number: 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.
Second, you must submit information about your invention. There are three parts to the submission:
- The abstract
- The specification
- 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.
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.
Under proposed amendments, the following changes would be made to the requirements to file a patent application:
- Applicants will no longer be required to pay a filing fee in order to establish a filing date;
- Applicants will be able to submit their application in a foreign language to establish a filing date, avoiding translation costs;
- Applicants who have submitted a previous application – in the last six months – would be allowed submit a statement referring to the previous application, as opposed to having to resubmit the specifications or drawings;
- Individuals who are not residents of Canada, who wish to file a patent application, will no longer have to appoint a person or firm residing or carrying on business in Canada as a representative; and
- Applicants must be notified by the Commissioner of Patents of a missed application fee due date, at which time the applicant will have a specific amount of time to pay the applicable fee and a late fee to avoid the application becoming abandoned. The new due date cannot be earlier than 12 months from the date of abandonment.
For more information and current government fees, visit the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website.
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