Area of Law: Intellectual Property
Answer Number: 295
Patent lawyers and Patent agentsRegion: Ontario Answer Number: 295
Applying for a patent involves many complicated legal issues and procedures. A patent lawyer or a patent agent will help you draft your patent application so that it fully protects your invention. Unless you have experience with the patent process, you should hire a registered patent agent to assist you. Many registered patent agents are also lawyers and can represent you in legal matters associated with your patent.
What a patent lawyer or registered patent agent can do
Patent lawyers and registered patent agents are experts who can act on your behalf and help you complete your patent application. However, only patent agents are permitted to represent an inventor at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). To be registered with the Patent Office, a patent agent must pass rigorous exams. You can obtain a list of registered patent agents from the Patent Office at the CIPO. You should beware of unregistered patent agents who are not authorized to handle patent applications and are not subject to discipline from the Patent Office.
It is important to find a patent lawyer or registered patent agent that you feel comfortable with. It is also advisable to make sure that you discuss their fee before your lawyer or agent begins work on your application. The fees of patent agents are not regulated by the Patent Office. Once you have appointed a patent agent to handle your application, the Patent Office will communicate with your agent.
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.
Non-resident applicants. Currently, individuals who are not residents of Canada who wish to file a patent application must appoint a person or firm residing or carrying on business in Canada as a representative. Under the proposed changes, this will no longer be required.
Need for representation. Proposed changes will set out provisions requiring patent owners to be represented after a patent has been granted, in procedures such as corrections, disclaimers, reissues, and re-examinations.
For more information, visit the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website.
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