Cassan Maclean
Intellectual Property | Barristers, solicitors, patent and trademark agents



CIPO publishes its first Intellectual Property (IP) Report

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) recently published its first report on Intellectual Property in Canada. Based on data gathered internally and from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the IP Canada Report provides a snapshot of the IP system in Canada and the use of the global IP system by Canadians. The Report also provides a summary of processing times for patents, trademarks and industrial designs filed before CIPO, and concludes with a first look at some of the data collected by CIPO from the initial stages of its patent study in the area of climate change mitigation technologies (CCMTs).

Some of the more notable findings about IP trends generally are summarized below:

  • Only about 12% of patent applications are filed by Canadian residents.

  • About 80% of all patent applications filed with CIPO are Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications, which allow for simultaneous applications in multiple countries.

  • As evidence of the extent of trade between Canada and the U.S., each countries’ residents remain the single largest source of applications to the others IP Office. Fully half of all applications for IP rights filed abroad by Canadians were filed in the United States.

  • China is one of the fastest growing markets for IP filings by Canadians. Over nearly a decade long period, patent applications filed by Canadians in China grew by 52% and trademark applications filed by Canadians in China grew by 138%.

  • Since the 2008-2009 recession, trademark filings in Canada are up by 21% and Industrial Design filings are up by 37%. However, patent filings in Canada are still about 10% below pre-recession levels.

As for IP application processing times, CIPO reports substantially reduced processing times for patent applications, with an average reduction of the time from request for examination to patent grant of about 7 months (from 44.7 months in 2012 to 37.8 months in 2015).

The average processing times for trademark applications have also seen a decrease, albeit a more modest one. Average processing times from filing to registration have decreased from 28.5 months in 2012 to 26.8 months in 2015. However, average time from filing to examination has seen a slight increase from 5.9 months in 2012 to 6.5 months in 2015. The report does not attribute the reduction (or increase) in processing times to any particular activity or initiative.

Finally the IP Canada Report concludes with a special report on early analysis of data from a special study in the area of climate change mitigation technologies (CCMTs) that CIPO has undertaken in light of the Government of Canada’s commitment to addressing climate change.  The study looks to demonstrate where Canada may have relative advantages over other countries is subcategories of CCMTs. Using an algorithm that searches patent documents for keywords and clusters patents based on shared language, early results demonstrate that Canadian innovators are very active in the areas of renewable energy, smart grids and clean energy.

To read the full report, click here.