Vancouver Patent Lawyers and Agents

We offer the following information regarding patent applications in Canada in response to questions frequently asked by our clients:

What makes an invention patentable?

An invention is patentable only if it is new and falls within the definition of a patentable invention. An invention is not new, for example, if it is found in an earlier patent of any country, even an expired patent. Also, whatever is new about the invention must show a certain level of inventiveness. The new feature must not be within the normal capabilities of someone skilled in the particular area of technology to create.

How do you find out if an invention is new?

At Cameron IP, we recommend a search through earlier U.S. patents because such searches are reasonably reliable and economical. Our fees include providing initial advice on the patentability of the invention before the search, conducting the search, reviewing the search results and providing an opinion on the same.

Is there a deadline for filing a patent application?

Both Canada and the United States permit patent applications to be filed up to one year after making the invention public under certain conditions of disclosure. However, an application must be filed in at least one country before the invention is made available to the public if patent protection is desired in most other countries.

Who gets the patent if two people apply for a patent on the same invention?

In most countries, the first true inventor who files an application is entitled to the patent. In some circumstances, the person who first invented the invention may be entitled to a patent in the United States, but the United States becomes a first-to-file country in March, 2013.

What is a patent application? Does it matter how a patent application is worded?

A patent application is not a form, but rather is a detailed technical description of the invention, usually including drawings. The protection given by a patent depends on the wording of the application as originally filed or as later amended. Unless the application is carefully worded, it may be very easy for an individual to make, use or sell the invention without infringing the patent. This is why the services of a registered patent agent are almost compulsory.

What happens after a patent application is filed?

After a patent application is filed, the patent office sends a filing notice giving the official filing date and application number. In most countries, nothing more happens until a fee is paid to the patent office to examine the application. In Canada, the fee may be paid when the application is filed within five years. The examination fee is paid on filing in the U.S.

The examiner then conducts a search to see if the invention is new and meets patentability standards. In the vast majority of applications, the examiner initially rejects some or all of the claims of the application. Arguments are then presented by a patent agent to overcome the rejection. When the examiner is convinced that the invention is patentable, then the patent office issues a notice of allowance and the patent issues after the required issue fee is paid.

Are there renewal fees to pay for patents?

In most countries, fees have to be paid to the patent office each year to maintain both patent applications and patents. In Canada, the first annual fee is required two years from the date the application is filed. The maximum term of the patent is 20 years from filing the application, assuming all renewal fees are paid. In the United States, renewal fees must be paid three times after the patent is issued. The maximum term of the patent in the U.S. is usually 20 years from the filing date if all the renewals are paid, but this varies in some cases.

Contact Our Canada Patent Application Lawyers and Agents

For more information or to schedule an appointment with our Vancouver patent lawyers and agents, call 778-724-1699 or contact us online for a prompt response.

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