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Request Patent Application in Canada

Request PCT Application for the Entry into National Phase in Canada
Request Patent Application in Canada in the United States of America

Request PCT Application for the Entry into National Phase in the United States of America


A patent is a grant of exclusive rights in an invention. To be patentable in most jurisdictions, including Canada and the United States, an invention must be useful and proper subject matter. In addition, it must be novel and inventive. An invention is considered to be novel if it was not previously disclosed or known to the public anywhere in the world. An invention is inventive if it would not be obvious to an average person working in the field to which the invention relates, taking into consideration the state of the art on the day you file your patent application (and in some cases on the date of invention).

Most countries other than Canada and the United States require that a patent application be filed before the invention is made public through disclosure to third parties or through use. Canada and the United States both have independent grace periods which permit an inventor to file an application up to one year after the inventor has publicly disclosed the invention.

Hence, to obtain patent protection outside of North America, it is necessary to file a patent application before there has been any public disclosure of the invention anywhere in the world, although there are exceptions to this in some countries. To obtain patent protection only in Canada and the United States, filing of the application may be done up to one year after public disclosure of the invention, although it is preferable to file an application as quickly as possible and before any disclosure of the invention.

To determine whether a particular idea is patentable, we suggest having a patentability search carried out in either the Canadian or in the United States Patent Office records. To determine whether your device might infringe someone else's device, we suggest having an infringement type search carried out in either the Canadian or United States Patent Offices, or both. Although a search is not a pre-requisite to filing a patent application, the cost of a search is considerably less than drafting and filing a patent application. Accordingly, if a search reveals that an idea has been disclosed in a prior reference, performing the search will save the expense of preparing and filing a patent application for an invention for which patent protection is no longer available.

The cost to draft and file a first patent application in Canada or the United States depends on the complexity of the invention,and the cost may also increase if the application requires numerous revisions to incorporate on-going improvements and modifications.

Several years ago, "provisional" patent applications were introduced as a cost effective interim measure for seeking rights in an invention. Such an application merely requires a document which describes the invention, without the need for claims or other formalities. The provisional's description must be sufficient to provide support for the claims of the subsequent complete application without the addition of "new matter". A complete patent application will usually be prepared within 12 months if foreign filings are desired. Provisional applications have limitations and may not always be suitable. The cost of filing a Canadian provisional application depends on the amount of our involvement you desire in preparing the provisional document.

Please note that patent applications for all countries in which patent protection is desired need not be filed right away in many cases. Often, after filing a first application, you may take advantage of a one year period within which to file patent applications in other countries. The costs of filing overseas vary considerably from country to country.

After filing a patent application, there are normally further costs associated with guiding the application through to the patent grant stage, such as convincing a Patent Examiner that the application is one for which a patent should issue. This procedure is referred to as "prosecution" of a patent application. The prosecution costs will depend on the number of objections raised by the Patent Examiner and the difficulty encountered in overcoming these objections. Also, once a patent application is allowed in Canada or the United States (and in other countries) there is a final issue fee to be paid. Finally, for Canada and some other countries, annual government maintenance fees must be paid to prevent an application or issued patent from expiring prematurely.

It should be noted that the time span between preparing and filing an application and obtaining the grant of a United States patent is often at least two years, and longer in Canada.

In order to prevent others from exploiting your idea prior to you seeking patent protection and to preserve your rights to pursue patent protection outside of Canada and the United States, it is advisable that you refrain from disclosing your invention's design to anyone prior to the filing of a patent application. Any disclosure you make of your idea to other parties should be protected by a formal confidentiality agreement.






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Canadian Intellectual Property Agents & Associates


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