If it is worth applying for a patent in the US, then there are good reasons to also apply in Canada.

1) Canada is a significant market: Canadian consumers are relatively affluent, and the workforce is well educated. In 2007 Canada’s Gross Domestic Product was approximately $1,500,000,000,000. Canada is an active player in a range of technology industries and the government grants a range of tax advantages for Research and Development activities. Canada has a thriving biotechnology industry and in 2007, drug spending in Canada reached 27 billion dollars.

2) Canada is a convenient spring-board for entry to the US market. The Canadian marketplace is smaller, less heavily regulated, and less intensely competitive than the US. At the same time, business culture is similar in both countries and there is a huge volume of commerce between them. In recent years even some US companies have moved their head offices to Canada because the Canadian regulatory environment is more forgiving.

3) Canada is an easy addition to the US market. Given the extensive commerce between Canada and the US, Canada is a relatively easy “add on” to any US operations. However a US patent is not valid in Canada and a US patent will not prevent competitors from exploiting the invention in Canada. In the absence of a Canadian patent to act as a deterrent, it is likely that competitors will exploit the technology in Canada. The competitor’s product may then flow back into the US to compete with the patentee’s own.

4) A Canadian patent is relatively inexpensive. Official fees are relatively modest, there are no additional translation costs (applications may be filed in English or French), legal fees are often lower than in the US, and requesting examination can be delayed for up to five years after the filing date. Finally, successful prosecution in the US can make it faster and easier to get to the issue of an equivalent Canadian patent.

For all of the above reasons, if you feel it is worth investing money in US patent protection, then you should also consider filing a corresponding application in Canada. The information provided above is intended for general informational purposes only and may be misleading as it applies to your circumstances, or as you think it applies to your circumstances. Before any decisions are taken you should seek advice from qualified professionals fully informed about your circumstances.