patents trademarks, designs, and copyrights.

Patent and Trademark in Canada

patents trademarks, designs, and copyrights.


What are the IP protections available in Canada?

In Canada, intellectual property protections encompass patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets, each serving to safeguard various aspects of innovation, creative works, branding, and proprietary information.


Patents confer upon inventors the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, importing, or selling their inventions within the United States. Utility patents, design patents, and plant patents constitute the three primary categories. Patents have historically shielded a diverse array of innovations, from seminal inventions like the light bulb and the internal combustion engine to iconic products such as Barbie dolls and the Google search engine, along with the aesthetic designs of items like sneakers, jewelry, sunglasses, and automobiles.


Copyrights extend protection to original works fixed in any tangible medium of expression, encompassing literary, musical, dramatic, artistic, and various intellectual creations. Authors, whether their works are published or unpublished, are granted copyrights. This legal framework shields the content we consume, including books, films, music, software, and architectural designs. In contemporary contexts, copyright law is frequently applied to electronic and digital media to manage duplication and distribution.


Trademarks encompass any word, name, symbol, or device, or combination thereof, utilized to identify and differentiate goods or services, indicating their origin. They span verbal elements, visual symbols, colors, sounds, unique packaging, and even distinctive scents like the recognizable aroma of Play-Doh. Owners of robust trademarks must vigilantly defend them to prevent genericization, exemplified by formerly protected terms like aspirin, thermos, and escalator.

Trade Secrets

Trade secret law safeguards proprietary information crucial to a business’s operations, encompassing both technological and commercial knowledge maintained in secrecy. Notable instances include the closely guarded formula for Coca-Cola.

What is the criteria of patentability in Canada?

The criteria for patents entail meeting three key requirements:

  1. Novelty: Patents must offer something new and not already in common use. This prevents multiple patents for the same invention and involves assessing the relevant field to ensure no existing matches are found. If the invention stands out as unique within its field, it may qualify as novel.
  2. Non-obviousness: This criterion distinguishes genuinely innovative designs and functions from those that are merely incremental or predictable. Patents grant a monopoly on an invention’s design and function, so demonstrating non-obviousness is crucial. Inventions that represent significant departures from conventional designs or functions are more likely to meet this criterion, while those that merely build upon prior research may not.
  3. Utility: Utility in the context of patent applications refers to the plausibility of an invention. It’s not just about usefulness in the conventional sense but rather whether the invention’s claims align with the technological constraints of its industry. A patent application stands a better chance of success if the manufacturing process it requires is feasible and comprehensible. Without utility, an application may be seen as more of a conceptual idea rather than a tangible invention.
How does Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) classify patents in Canada?

CIPO recognizes four common types of patents:

  1. Machine: This type pertains to devices composed of intact parts or mechanisms. Machines are distinguished by how their components function together to achieve a specific purpose or outcome.
  2. Process: Processes involve methods or practices for carrying out tasks or achieving results. They can range from manufacturing procedures to computer functions or chemical reactions.
  3. Product: Products emerge from processes and are intended for use, marketing, or sale as commodities. In project management, products represent the deliverables that fulfill project objectives.
  4. Composition: Compositions refer to combinations of two or more elements or substances. This can encompass anything from simple mixtures to complex chemical compounds.
What cannot be patented in Canada?

Certain categories of inventions are not eligible for patent protection. These include:

  1. Disembodied Ideas, Concepts, or Discoveries: Purely abstract ideas, concepts, or discoveries without a tangible application cannot be patented.
  2. Scientific Principles and Abstract Theorems: Fundamental scientific principles or abstract mathematical theorems are not patentable.
  3. Methods of Medical Treatment or Surgery: Methods of medical treatment or surgical procedures are typically excluded from patent protection.
  4. Higher Life Forms: Living organisms beyond a certain level of complexity, such as higher animals or humans, are generally not patentable.
  5. Forms of Energy: Natural forms of energy, such as electromagnetic radiation or gravitational forces, cannot be patented.
  6. Features of Solely Intellectual or Aesthetic Significance: Features that are purely intellectual or aesthetic in nature, without any practical utility, are not eligible for patents.
  7. Printed Matter: Printed matter, such as books or documents, typically cannot be patented.
  8. Computer Code and Computer-Implemented Inventions: Computer code by itself is not considered a physical invention and thus cannot be patented. However, a computer program may be eligible for patent protection if it offers a new and inventive solution to a problem by modifying the operation of a computer.
Is it required to mark articles as "patented" in Canada?

No, the Canadian Patent Act does not mandate marking articles as “patented.” However, falsely claiming an article as patented is illegal.

You may choose to mark your invention as “Patent applied for” or “Patent pending.” While these phrases don’t carry legal weight, they serve as a warning to others that you’ve initiated the patent process.

These statements indicate that you have filed an application to patent your invention. Although they don’t confer legal protection, they signal your intent to enforce exclusive rights once the patent is granted.

What are the key steps and timelines involved in the patent examination process in Canada?

Upon applying for a patent in Canada, the next crucial step is to request an examination. This request must be made within four years of filing your application. Once the request is submitted, the examination process begins.

Under normal circumstances, the process of patent prosecution can take quite some time, typically spanning two to three years. However, if you opt for expedited processing, you could potentially receive the examination results in just a few months.

During the examination, a patent examiner thoroughly reviews your application to ensure that your invention meets the criteria of novelty and non-obviousness. They conduct a search for any prior art that may challenge the originality of your invention.

Approximately 14 months after the examination request, you can expect to receive the examination report from the patent office. This report outlines any objections or concerns the examiner may have regarding your application.

Upon receiving the examination report, you have a window of up to four months to address any objections raised. If you’ve opted for accelerated processing, this response window may be shorter, typically around three months.

Once you’ve submitted your response to the examination report, the patent office takes approximately 5 to 9 months to consider your application further.

Overall, the patent examination process involves several steps and timelines, all aimed at ensuring that your invention meets the necessary criteria for patent approval in Canada.

How to renew/maintain a patent in Canada?

Patent annuities are periodic fees paid to maintain the patent for a patent or a granted patent. In Canada, the first annuity payment is due 2 years from the date of filing with the CIPO. This payment is mandatory, regardless of whether the patent has been granted.

After the initial annuity payment, all subsequent annuity fees shall be paid annually on the anniversary of the filing date of the application. The due date for these subsequent payments corresponds to the month and date of the filing date.

How much does a patent cost in Canada?

The cost of obtaining a Canadian patent can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the invention, the services of patent agents or attorneys, and any additional fees associated with the patent application process.

Generally, the main fees associated with obtaining a patent in Canada include:

  1. Filing Fee: Prescribed fee is paid at the time of filing the patent application with the CIPO.
  2. Examination Fee: A fee is required to request examination of the patent application by CIPO.
  3. Maintenance Fees (Annuities): As mentioned earlier, patent annuities are periodic fees paid to maintain the patent application or granted patent. The first annuity is due 2 years from the date of filing, and subsequent annuities are due annually thereafter.
  4. Professional Fees: These are the fees charged by patent agents or attorneys for their services in preparing and prosecuting the patent application.

It’s important to note that the exact cost of obtaining a Canadian patent can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances of each case.

At ipRenewal, our dedication to safeguarding your inventions in Canada goes beyond legal expertise; it’s a holistic journey facilitated by our seasoned attorneys. Working closely with inventors, we meticulously craft specifications that meet the highest standards, incorporating detailed descriptions, robust claims, and precise drawings. Our Patent Application Drafting services demonstrate our commitment to a thorough and meticulous approach.

Navigating the complex landscape of IP in Canada demands expertise, and our experienced team of attorneys is committed to simplifying and optimizing the entire process. Understanding the critical importance of protecting your IP, our services are tailored to guide you through every step, starting with filing a patent application. This journey begins by selecting the appropriate type of patent, considering factors such as the nature of the invention, desired protection duration, and examination by the CIPO. This customized approach, facilitated by our streamlined online platform, ensures a smooth filing process with all necessary documents for a successful submission, including obtaining a granted patent.

Managing and paying renewal fees is streamlined and cost-effective with ipRenewal’s user-friendly platform, ensuring the continuous protection of your intellectual property rights. Count on us to navigate the intricacies of patent applications, examination, and maintenance, enabling you to focus on your innovative pursuits with confidence. Our comprehensive services underscore our commitment to providing unparalleled support at every stage of your patent journey.

At ipRenewal, we not only provide expert guidance throughout the patent protection journey but also distinguish ourselves by offering the best quotes for IP services in Canada. We take it a step further by guaranteeing to beat existing quotes from other service providers. Our commitment to cost-effective solutions is coupled with an unwavering dedication to delivering top-notch Intellectual Property services, ensuring the protection of your Canadian patents and effectively addressing any patent infringement. Trust us to safeguard your innovations with a comprehensive and budget-friendly approach in the Canadian intellectual property landscape.


What can be protected as Trademark in Canada?

In Canada, trademarks can be categorized into several types, each serving different purposes:

  1. Word Marks: Trademarks consisting of words, letters, or numerals. Examples include brand names like “Nike,” “Coca-Cola,” and “Apple.”
  2. Design Marks: Trademarks featuring specific designs or logos. Examples include iconic symbols like the McDonald’s golden arches, the Pepsi globe, and the Twitter bird.
  3. Combined Marks: Trademarks that incorporate both words and design elements. Examples include logos like the Starbucks siren, the Amazon arrow, and the FedEx wordmark.
  4. Certification Marks: Trademarks used to certify specific qualities or characteristics of goods or services. Examples include marks like “Fair Trade” or “ISO 9001” that verify compliance with certain standards.
  5. Distinguishing Guises: Trademarks representing the shape of goods, their packaging, or a combination of both. Examples include distinctive shapes like the Coca-Cola bottle or the Toblerone chocolate bar.
  6. Sound Marks: Trademarks consisting of specific sounds or musical jingles. Examples include recognizable tunes like the Intel chime or the MGM lion’s roar.

Understanding the various types of trademarks available in Canada allows businesses to effectively protect their brands and intellectual property assets.

What are the benefits of trademark registration in Canada?

 Trademark protection in Canada offers several advantages, including:

  1. Exclusive Use in Canada: Registering a trademark in Canada grants the owner of a trademark exclusive rights to use the mark with the listed products or services, preventing others from using confusingly similar marks.
  2. Legal Protection: Registered trademarks are legally protected in Canada, allowing proprietors to take legal action against unauthorized use and infringement, safeguarding the brand’s reputation.
  3. Increased Value: Registration of trademarks can enhance the value of a business as they are considered assets that can be bought, sold, or licensed.
  4. Deterrent Effect: Having a registered trademark can discourage others from using similar marks, as they are aware of the legal protections afforded to the registered owner.
  5. Public Notice: Registration of a trademark in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s (CIPO) database provides public notice of the owner’s claim to the mark, reducing the likelihood of inadvertent infringement.
  6. Use of the ® Symbol: Registered trademark owners can use the ® symbol to signify their mark’s registration, further deterring unauthorized use.

In summary, trademark registration in Canada serves to protect a business’s brand, reputation, and market share, while also providing a valuable asset for future growth and expansion.

Is it Necessary to Perform a Trademark Search Prior to registration of a Trademark?

Before proceeding with the submission of a trademark application, conducting a trademark search is undoubtedly a wise and crucial step. The primary objective of the trademark search is to identify any existing trademarks that are sufficiently similar, as their presence may impede the acceptance of your trademark. This proactive measure helps in avoiding potential conflicts and enhances the likelihood of a successful trademark registration process.

How long does it typically take for a trademark to be registered in Canada?

The average processing time for trademark registration in Canada, from filing to completion, is approximately 24-32 months. This duration accounts for various stages of the registration process, including application submission, examination by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), response to any Office Actions, publication for opposition, and final registration.

What is the process for trademark registration with Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)?

The trademark registration process in Canada involves several key steps:

  1. Formal Examination: The application undergoes a formal examination for compliance with the Trademarks Act and Regulations, as well as a search for prior trademarks that may cause confusion.
  2. Publication for Opposition: If the application meets the requirements, it is advertised in the Trademarks Journal, allowing for a 2-month opposition period.
  3. Examination for Conflicts: Examiners search for conflicting marks within the next four months. If no conflicts are found, they assess the mark’s registrability based on factors like descriptiveness and compliance with commercial terms.
  4. Approval and Advertisement: Once any necessary revisions are made, the trademark is approved for publication in the Trademarks Journal.
  5. Opposition Period: Interested parties can file oppositions based on alleged confusion, potentially delaying the process for up to 18 months.
  6. Allowance: If no objections are raised within two months after publication, the Trade-marks Office issues a notice of allowance.
  7. Registration: The applicant pays a fee per trademark within six months of receiving the notice of allowance. Upon payment, the Trade Marks Office issues certificates of registration.

How to Renew/Maintain a registered trademark in Canada?

A trademark registration in Canada is valid for a duration of 10 years from the registration date. Once the trademark is registered, to renew the registration, you can submit an application for renewal six months before the expiration date. Alternatively, renewal can also be completed within six months after the expiration date or within two months of receiving the formal renewal notice, whichever comes first.

How much does it cost for trademark registration in Canada?

The cost of trademarking a brand in Canada can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the application, the number of Nice classes (categories of goods or services specified) covered, and whether you use the services of a trademark agent or attorney.

As of my last update, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) charges a fee for filing a trademark application, which depends on the number of Nice classes chosen. Additionally, there are fees for requesting examination, registration, and renewal of the trademark.

At ipRenewal, we serve as your dedicated partner, offering comprehensive trademark services tailored to safeguard and maintain the integrity of your invaluable intellectual property (IP) assets within the nuanced framework of Canadian trademark law. Our specialized team is committed to guiding businesses through the application for registration process, providing a seamless experience tailored to meet individual needs. From conducting thorough trademark searches to navigating the intricacies of the Canadian trademark system in association with the Government of Canada, ipRenewal’s experts deliver a full range of services aimed at securing and reinforcing your trademark rights.

Recognizing the critical importance of timely trademark renewals, ipRenewal implements efficient and well-organized procedures to help businesses meet deadlines and uphold the validity of their trademarks in compliance with Canadian law. With a focus on compliance and accuracy, we strive to deliver unparalleled service quality, ensuring our clients have peace of mind knowing their IP portfolios are in capable hands. Whether addressing instances of trademark infringement or facilitating the renewal of trademark rights as the registered owner of the trademark, ipRenewal is equipped to navigate the Canadian legal landscape.

Furthermore, ipRenewal offers a cost-effective solution for filing and processing trademark registrations in Canada, providing superior value without compromising on quality. Our services not only ensure compliance with legal requirements but also offer significant cost advantages compared to traditional methods. By choosing ipRenewal, businesses can optimize their budget for trademark registrations, including through international channels like the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), while receiving efficient and dependable services. Count on us to provide a cost-efficient solution tailored to your intellectual property protection needs in Canada and beyond.

For Drafting, Applications and Litigation
Contact Us

For Renewals Click Here…

Official website of the patent office in Canada Click Here…

Page top