Examination of the Application
Examination of a patent application is conducted by an Examiner in the Patent Office who is technically qualified in the field of technology to which the invention relates. In Canada, examination commences only after a request for examination is filed. Filing of the request can be delayed for up to five years from the filing date of the application. Once examination has been requested, the Examiner will conduct a search of the prior art, including patents and non-patent literature. In many cases, the Examiner will object that the invention as defined in the claims is not sufficiently different from prior inventions and/or prior art disclosures to justify the grant of a new patent. It is then necessary to file arguments in support of the patentability of the invention and sometimes amend the claims to better define the invention. Once the Examiner is satisfied that the claims define a patentable invention, Notice of Allowance is issued and a "final fee" must be paid in order to have the patent granted. If however, the Examiner is not finally satisfied, the application is rejected. Appeal procedures are available in Canada and most other jurisdictions.