Why Obtain a Patent?
Patents protect inventions, such as machines, devices, methods and compositions of matter. A patent gives the inventor or patent owner the right to exclude others from making, using or selling the invention. The invention must be "novel", "non-obvious" and have utility to obtain patent protection. The earliest patents were generally embodied within a piece of equipment or apparatus, but patent protection is also obtainable for a chemical process, a method of manufacture, proteins, vaccines, and lower life forms, such as bacteria and viruses.
Generally, the term for a patent is 20 years, starting from the date of filing of the application. Canadian patents provide rights in Canada only and patent protection in other countries must be separately sought and obtained.
I have an invention, what should I do?
You think you have invented something? Then you should:
- Consult a registered patent agent before making any disclosure of your invention to third parties. A disclosure made under no confidentiality agreement, prior to filing a patent, can destroy the possibility of obtaining valid patent rights;
- Before filing a patent application, consider having prior art searches made to assess the patentability of your invention (i.e. its novelty and non-obviousness);
- At an early stage, make efforts to determine whether or not the invention is likely to be commercially successful, while taking care not to disclose the invention to third parties except on a confidential basis;
- Instruct your registered patent agent to prepare and file a patent application at the earliest opportunity if the search results and other applicable factors appear favourable.