How to Patent an Idea in Ontario

By Jim Hagerty

Patenting an idea in Ontario, Canada is much like obtaining a patent in the United States. However, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office operates a bit differently than its U.S. counterpart, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. To get through the process, you must understand what Canadian patents are, how to properly complete the necessary forms and obtain professional assistance.

Meet the patent criteria. In Canada, before a patent can be granted, an idea must meet three preliminary requirements. 1. Your idea must be novel, unique and original only to you. 2. It must result in a process or physical properties that are useful to society. 3. The idea must be one of ingenuity, free from easy duplication by laypersons. Canadian patents can also be granted for ideas that improve upon an existing product. For example, an idea for a mechanism that allows the carburetor of a car work more efficiently would be a patentable idea.

Contact a patent agent. Like U.S. patent attorneys, Canadian patent agents are hired to ensure patent applications are completed properly. They are versed in the rules and regulations of the Canadian patent and trademark system. Patent agents are easy to find and can be found in telephone directories and online. If you cannot find one, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office can help you locate a list of working agents.

Complete your patent application. With the help of your patent agent, thoroughly complete each document. Canadian patent applications require three crucial pieces of information: 1. Abstract. An abstract is a summary of your idea and how it will be turned into a physical product. 2. Specification summary. This summary needs to detail how your idea and product will be useful to society. 3. Drawing or design. Like in the U.S., patents are not granted on ideas alone. They must be turned into a physical object. This means you must design the object from your idea. Aside from your abstract, specification and drawing, your application will consist of other forms including a petition to receive a patent and a claim report, requesting ownership to your idea or object. You will also need to provide the office your personal information and pay a $400 filing fee.

File your application. After you’ve completed your application, send the forms to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office with your filing fee. Once it’s filed, you must request an official examination of your application. This will cost you an additional $200.

Play the waiting game. In Canada, a patent can take several years before it is examined and granted. Have your patent agent obtain regular status on your pending examination. It is also common for patents in Canada to be denied the first time they are sought. However, if this happens, you will be given a chance to appeal the decision and revise your idea.

About the Author

Jim Hagerty is a writer and journalist who began writing professionally in 1996. He has had articles published in the "Rock River Times," "Builder's Journal" and various websites. He earned a Bachelor of Science in public relations and journalism from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.