It takes up to three years for a patent application to be granted, and because applications are often rejected the first time, you may need to amend the claims and appeal. All design patent application may only include a single claim that defines the design which the applicant wishes to patent, and the claim must be written in formal terms, where "as shown" relates to drawing standards included in the application while "as described" means that the application includes special descriptions of the design, a proper showing of modified forms of the design, or other descriptive matter.
The title of the design must identify the invention that the design is connected to by its most common name used by the public, but marketing designations like "Coca-Cola" instead of "soda" are improper as titles and should not be used. A title descriptive of the actual article is recommended.
Examples of good titles include "jewelry cabinet," "concealed jewelry cabinet," or "panel for a jewelry accessory cabinet," each of which gives specifications to items already known colloquially, which could increase your chances of getting your patent approved. The figure descriptions of the drawings included with the application tell what each view represents, and should be noted as "FIG.
Any description of the design in the specification, other than a brief description of the drawing, is generally not necessary since, as a general rule, the drawing is the design's best description. However, while not required, a special description is not prohibited. If this is the case, manufacturing or marketing the product with your improvement may be an infringement of the original patent.
This situation is often resolved by agreement between the patentees the people who own the patents to grant licences to each other. If you believe that this is a concern with your invention, you should discuss it with a patent agent. A patent is granted only for the physical embodiment of an idea for example, the description of a possible door lock or for a process that produces something tangible or that can be sold.
You cannot patent a scientific principle, an abstract theorem, an idea, some methods of doing business or a computer program. In Canada, patents are granted to the first inventor to file an application, so it is smart to file as soon as possible after you complete your invention in case someone else is on a similar track. Even if you can prove that you were the first to think of the invention, you lose the race if a competing inventor files before you do.
However, filing while you are still developing your invention may mean missing important features from the patent application. You may then have to reapply, adding to your expenses and risking possible patent disputes. Again, it is very important not to advertise or disclose information about your invention before you are ready to file for a patent.
Public disclosure of your invention before filing for a patent may make it impossible to obtain a valid patent and jeopardize the possibility of you receiving similar rights in other countries.
With so much information stored in each patent, it is not surprising that CIPO has the largest collection in Canada of current technological know-how from around the world. CIPO's data holdings contain more than two million Canadian patent publications grants and open to public inspection applications , most of which are searchable on our website or by doing an in-person search at the CIPO Client Service Centre.
Many of these patents are for "end-of-the-line" improvements on inventions that have been around for decades. But some are pioneering inventions that have opened up whole new fields in technology. Electronics, for example, started with a patent on a vacuum tube.
The information in these patents not only covers every conceivable field, but is also possibly the most up-to-date information available. This is because patent applications are generally made public 18 months after filing. One of CIPO's goals is to make patent information available to Canadian industries, universities and research centres to help them keep abreast of innovations.
The information can be especially useful to small and medium-sized businesses because it enables them to conduct their own research easily and inexpensively. Not taking advantage of CIPO resources could cost you time and money, especially if you end up reinventing the wheel. A significant amount of all research and development in Canada does just that by duplicating patented technology. A search of the patent literature may prevent this kind of wasted effort.
Learning about the existing solutions to certain technical problems can also give you ideas for better inventions.
In almost any field, some work has already been done somewhere. Perhaps the solution to the problem exists in a foreign patent that you can use freely here in Canada. Patent documents can also reveal trends and sources of new products, show what the competition is doing at home and abroad, and help you find new suppliers, markets or know-how that you can use under licence. If you are a business person, researcher, engineer or student, a search through patent documents can help you:.
Your competitors may be using the information in patent documents to their advantage. Can you afford to ignore it? A good early step is to undertake a preliminary search of existing patents. This will determine if your invention, or a similar one, has been patented already. If so, there is no need to proceed further.
The database is interactive and easy to use. It allows you to do simple yet powerful searches on Canadian patent information from the comfort of your home or office, free of charge. When you access the Canadian Patents Database online, you can do a preliminary search of patent information dating back to You can do a search using key words, the name of the inventor, owner or applicant, the international patent classification and more. Once you have searched online, you may also wish to take advantage of more functionality and better data coverage by visiting CIPO's Client Service Centre in person.
It supplies, free of charge, information on a variety of subjects such as: procedures for filing patent applications and for registering trademarks, copyright, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies. Intellectual property information officers provide many services. They can help you with information related to:. Our information officers can also guide you in your IP searches through various IP databases, including:.
As a first-time visitor, you may feel overwhelmed by the idea of searching through so many patents. IP information officers are available to help you with your search; however, they cannot do the search for you.
Registered patent agents are specialists who must pass a rigorous examination in patent law and practice before being allowed to represent inventors before CIPO. Preparing and prosecuting following through on a patent application is a complex job. Prosecution involves corresponding with CIPO, taking actions set out in the Patent Act and Rules within strict timelines, making any necessary changes to the application and fixing the legal scope of the patent protection.
All this requires a broad knowledge of patent law and Patent Office practice—knowledge you can expect from a registered patent agent. A trained patent agent will make sure your application is properly drafted so your invention is adequately protected. Hiring such an agent is not mandatory but we highly recommend it.
Please note that if you have transferred some or all of your rights to the invention, a patent agent must be appointed by law. Once you have appointed a patent agent, CIPO will correspond with no one else about the prosecution of your application, including you. You may, however, change patent agents at any time or choose not to have one anymore.
Patent agents' fees are not regulated by CIPO; you and your agent should agree on fees before work on your application begins.
CIPO provides you with a list of registered patent agents but cannot recommend any particular one to you. Please be aware that there are individuals who provide advice regarding patent applications and prosecution of patent applications before CIPO who are not registered agents with CIPO. These individuals have not passed the patent agent licensing exam, which is the qualifying test for patent agents in Canada. These individuals are not authorized to represent applicants before CIPO.
Note : You may wish to view our tutorial on how to prepare a patent application.
The Guide contains the exclusive 3-D Method for provisional application writing, which shows you how to write a provisional in 3 easy steps. You will also learn. Nolo's Guide to. Provisional. Patent. Applications. NOLO . to your invention before filing for a patent—so you could figure out whether your invention would turn.
The description must be clear and accurate, and it should be as simple, direct and free from obscurity and ambiguity as possible. The description is addressed to people in the field to which the invention pertains and must be written so that those people would be able to put the invention to the same successful use as the inventor.
After the patent is issued, information you specify as protected by your claims cannot be used freely for example, to make or sell your invention by others until the patent expires. Information not protected by your claims can however be used right away by anyone. The challenge is to draft the claims so your invention is defined broadly enough to provide maximum protection while at the same time being specific enough to identify your invention by making sure it is different from all previous inventions.
Inventions that can be illustrated by drawings must be illustrated in your application for a patent. The drawings must clearly show all parts of the invention. The role of the drawings is to clarify the principles of how a device is constructed rather than to provide all of the particular details of dimensions or relative proportions. To help your agent in getting the strongest possible patent while avoiding unnecessary costs, you can prepare a statement covering the following points:. Filing a patent application means preparing a formal application and asking the Commissioner of Patents to grant you a patent.
A complete patent application includes the information required to obtain a filing date as well as the following:. Note : It is best to file a full description of your invention and a complete application from the start; however, this is not always possible. If necessary, any of the items listed above may be submitted, without charge, within the 15 months following the priority date or the filing date, if there is no priority date.
If your application is still incomplete after 15 months, you will be notified by CIPO, and you will have to complete the application within a certain amount of time as well as pay a completion fee. You should not submit models and specimens of your invention unless the Commissioner of Patents requests them. Once CIPO accepts your application for filing, the application is assigned a number and filing date.
You will be informed about these. This is no guarantee of a patent; it simply means your application is pending. The application will be open to public inspection that is, the public will have access to your application 18 months after the filing date or priority date. If you wish, you may request to have your application published earlier. You must formally request examination and pay the examination fee.
This request must be made within five years of the Canadian filing date; otherwise, your application will be considered abandoned. There are several reasons why you might file an application and not automatically request examination.