Canada is often a country overlooked when Applicants are deciding where to pursue patent protection. With a wealth of natural resources, stable government, and numerous innovations centers, Canada is an ideal market for patent owners. In addition, given the current value of the Canadian dollar, Canada has never been a more cost-effective jurisdiction for filing patent applications.
The current government fees for filing a patent application are $400 (large entity) or $200 (small entity1). Once an application has been filed, an Applicant has five years to request examination of the application. The fees for requesting examination are $800 (large entity) or $400 (small entity). The deadline to request examination is 5 years from the filing date of the application.
In addition to the filing fee and examination fee, Canadian applications are subject to annual maintenance fees which range from $100 to $450 (large entity) and $50 to $225 (small entity).
A Canadian patent application can be filed at the same time as a U.S. application, claiming priority from the same first-filed application. Similar to the U.S., Canada requires that a patent application be filed within 12-months of public disclosure.
Assuming a U.S. patent application has been filed, a cost-effective strategy for obtaining a patent in Canada includes utilizing the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). A Canadian patent application can be filed at the same time as a U.S. application, claiming priority from the same first-filed application. Similar to the U.S., Canadian law requires that a patent application be filed within 12-months of public disclosure. Once the U.S. application has been allowed or issued, a Voluntary Amendment can be filed in Canada amending the claims to bring them into line with the allowed or issued U.S. claims. At the same time, a request for expedited examination under the PPH can be filed. There is currently no government fee for the PPH.
If the PPH is not utilized, the patent application will be examined in its routine order by the Canadian patent office and will be allowed or an office action will be issued on the application.
Regardless of whether the PPH is utilized, once the application has been allowed, a final fee of $300 (large entity) or $150 (small entity) must be paid. Once the final fee has been paid, the application will issue to patent. Please note that issued Canadian patents are also subject to maintenance fees as described above.
In summary, a Canadian patent can be obtained for $2000 (large entity) or $1000 (small entity) in government fees. This translates to approximately $1500 USD (large entity) or $750 (small entity). As will be appreciated, these estimates do not include professional fees. There has never been a better time to take advantage of the Canadian dollar to pursue patent protection in Canada.