General

Intellectual Property in Canada

Protecting the value of your ideas: IP in Canada

There are many ways to protect the value of ideas in Canada, patents, trademarks and industrial designs chief among them — all of which can be registered through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Carve out a niche with patents

Patents can be crucial tools for business success, often providing the assets for seed funding or a niche for business growth. With their innovations and ideas protected, businesses can set themselves apart from competitors and get closer to market exclusivity. When preparing a patent application, diligence and precision can be critical to success.

The process of obtaining a patent in Canada can be lengthy and complex. Getting your application right is vitally important, as even small mishaps can lead to lost rights. Patents also need to meet certain legal requirements: they must be new, non-obvious and industrially applicable. If the application succeeds, the resulting patent lasts for 20 years.

Maintain brand integrity with trademarks

A key component to business success is a strong brand that helps consumers associate a product or service with one company. Businesses often spend vast amounts of time and resources building brand-associated goodwill — and that asset needs to be protected. In Canada, companies can file a trademark application, which initiates an examination process for originality. If the examination is successful, the trademark lasts 15 years and can be renewed. Registration gives businesses the exclusive right to prevent others from using their trademark throughout Canada. This valuable tool can stop competitors from producing knock-offs, ensuring brand integrity for the trademark holder.

Protect visuals with industrial designs

Products often have business value for their aesthetic appeal, which gives them a competitive edge. The curve of a new bottle design, a new style of lipstick case or the contours of a smart phone all add to a product’s value. These product aspects are intellectual property, and protectable by industrial design rights. While patent rights protect functional components of a product, industrial designs protect a product’s form.

Like patents and trademarks, industrial designs have to meet legal requirements for originality. Once the industrial design is issued it remains for 10 years. During that time, others cannot make or sell the design in Canada without permission — keeping it safe from copycats.

At Kirby IP, our experienced group of patent professionals can help navigate the complexities of the IP protection process. Our team of professionals helps companies with everything from evaluating patentability to insuring the end product, helping IP owners achieve business success.

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