Discussions with your lawyer or agent

"Got an idea?"

If you believe that you have an idea that might merit intellectual property protection, you should discuss that idea with a lawyer, registered patent agent or registered trade-mark agent who will advise what options, in general, may be available to you.

In the case of a patent, a registered patent agent is the only person, other than yourself, who can deal with the Canadian Patent Office for the purpose of making an application for, and endeavouring to obtain patent protection.

When discussing your idea with your lawyer and/or agent you must make a full disclosure of your idea including all matters pertinent to it. Disclosures will be held by your lawyer or agent in confidence and will not be disclosed to anyone else without your approval. Time and money will be saved if you bring all relevant materials with you when you meet with your lawyer and/or agent. Some of this material may have to be left with your lawyer and/or agent for further study. Therefore, you should make copies of anything that you might require for your further
personal use.

Material required to be disclosed to your lawyer and/or agent will include a full written description of your idea, signed and dated, together with any drawings, photographs, models or early examples are most desirable. In addition, a description of similar ideas that you are aware of, copies of articles written by others, photographs or examples of other devices must be fully disclosed, so that the differences between your ideas and any previous work of others can clearly be seen.

You should guard against any public disclosure of your ideas before your lawyer or agent has confirmed that the appropriate steps for protecting your idea have been taken. Public disclosure of your idea before filing a patent application will foreclose patent protection in many countries. Canada will permit an inventor up to one year after a public disclosure to file for a patent application. If any disclosure to anyone other than your lawyer or agent is to be made, it should only be done under the provisions of a confidential disclosure agreement.