Patent application & prosecution

"Got an idea?"

A patent is a grant from the government of Canada to the owner of the patent giving a monopoly on the precise product or process defined in the claims of the patent for a period of twenty years from the filing date of the patent application from which the patent resulted. In return for such a monopoly, the invention must be clearly set out in a manner readily understood by a person skilled in the art to which the invention relates. Therefore it is important that the patent be prepared carefully so as to make a proper disclosure and to claim only that to which you are properly entitled. The Patent Office will review the application and claims to determine that the form of the application is proper and whether, in its view, the invention is new and unobvious. Even if a patent is granted, any interested person may challenge it in the Courts. Since careful drafting is essential, you must give your patent agent as much information about your idea as you can, including information about any similar ideas already in existence or previously described.

Once a patent application has been prepared, you should review it before it is filed for accuracy and completeness. This is particularly important if you are contemplating any changes to your ideas, because changes cannot usually be made to the substance of the application after it is filed — a new application must be made. Once an application is filed, the Patent Office will review it to see if it complies with formalities, and to determine if there is any prior art or other reason why changes to the claims should be made or the claims should be rejected. Usually changes to the claims to distinguish over any prior art or other objections raised, or changes to the disclosure to conform to procedural requirements are done through exchanges of correspondence with the Patent Office. Any changes of substance should be carefully discussed with your patent agent.

If the Patent Office allows your application, you will be granted a patent giving a monopoly as defined by the claims, for a period of twenty years from the date the application was filed provided yearly maintenance are paid.