3 Things Canadian Startups Need to Know About Patents

3 Things Canadian Startups Need to Know About Patents 1

Patents allow inventors and thinkers to protect their intellectual property and profit from their ideas once they become applicable in real-life. But patents are not just for individual scientists who spend all day long tinkering their ideas and projects in a garage or basement. Patents are also awarded to companies and startups looking to protect new products, designs, or even business processes that use innovative technologies and could be used for profit.

Furthermore, governments of technologically-advanced societies (like Canada or the US) encourage innovation through a more lenient patent system. Even so, the process is quite thorough (especially in the case of businesses).

As such, if you are interested in filing for a patent in Canada, here are a few things you should know first.

#1: Patents are Important for Progress

A patent protects your idea/product/invention by ensuring no one else in the country uses the same idea for profit. However, it is important to file it under the right category and with the correct specifications, as specified in this guide for getting a Canadian patent

Once your request for a patent is accepted, you can start gathering investors and other people/businesses that may be interested in using or buying the product. The fact that the patent is pending gives a startup enough room to move forward in its path towards making a sale or getting new partners and investors (foreign or local). 

So, by encouraging startups and businesses to come forward with their innovative ideas, the Canadian government is looking to attract more funds and empower the local business community. 

#2: Patents have Territorial Restriction

A patent filed and approved in Canada is not necessarily valid in other countries. This means that, as a Canadian startup, you can only enforce your rights on Canadian territory. If you want to extend the company overseas or use the product you invented in a different country, you should first apply for a patent in that country.

To avoid complications, it is best to approach patents with a strategy in mind. For instance, if you plan on using your invention at a global level, it is best to first identify the most important markets for your startup’s development.

Once identified, work with a patent agent (a specialized individual or company that can provide guidance) to protect your intellectual property in all those regions. This way, you can be sure you will avoid complications during the expansion period.

#3: Apply as Soon as Possible

In Canada, a patent is granted to the first one who files for approval. So, the best way to beat your competitors is to file as soon as you have the whole idea and schematics. Otherwise, you risk someone else beating you to the punch (there are plenty of simultaneous inventions in the world hystory). 

Of course, you shouldn’t be in too much of a hurry and miss important information. This means you’ll have to reapply, which can be even riskier (now that people know about your work).

Wrap Up

Overall, patents are an essential tool for our society’s development. Besides, anyone who is looking to build a career in Canada has the chance to use their ingenuity and receive support if their idea proves helpful. As a result, Canada is now a powerful country, with strong technological development and brilliant people supporting its efforts. 

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