A patent covers new invention (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter) and any new and useful improvement to an existing invention. It provides you, as inventor, with the exclusive right to manufacture, sell and use your patented invention.

A patent is a property right for an invention granted by the government and gives the inventor, for a limited time (for a period of up to 20 years), the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale (even importing) your invention in the country where the patent is registered. The main requirement for this protection is to give the government and the public a complete description and full disclosure of your invention. This means a description of the invention in sufficient detail that anyone trained in the field in which the patent is directed would be able to practise the invention after reading the description.

Many companies and university seek patent protection to recover research and development costs in their respective fields. In order for a patent to be issued, it needs to be new, useful and not obvious to others working in the same field.

Therefore, patenting your invention is critical to your success. We take a pro-active approach to evaluate your invention, draft and prosecute patent applications, review patentability issues, manage patent portfolios, develop global protection strategies, negotiate prospective licensing agreements, and deal with infringement matters.

Along with the preparation, filing, and prosecution of patent and design applications in Canada, the United States, and worldwide, we conduct prior art searching, offer patentability, infringement and validity opinions, licensing and due diligence, and infringement opinions. We also provide valuable advice on licensing and distribution agreements, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures.


Requirements for patentability

In order to be patentable, your invention must show novelty, utility, and ingenuity.

To be granted a patent, your invention must be different from anything known before, thus, it must be the first of its kind in the world. It must not have been described in a prior publication and must not have been publicly used or sold.
The claimed invention must be useful/functional. Hence, a patent cannot be obtained for something that does not work or does not have a useful function. A patent must work according to its intended purpose.
Ingenuity (Non-Obviousness)
The invention must be a development or an improvement of an existing technology that would not have been obvious beforehand to a worker of average and ordinary skill in the technology involved.


All of the above are gauged against everything previously publicly known before the invention, as shown in earlier granted patents and other published material. This public knowledge is called “prior art”.


Types of patents

There are three types of patents that can be granted, namely, utility patents, design patents, and plant patents.

At first sight, it is hard and tricky to distinguish the difference between utility and design patent, since the utility and the ornamental aspect of an invention are not easily separable, because an invention has both functional (utility) and ornamental (design) characteristics where you can apply for both a utility and a design patent for the same invention.

That being said, a utility patent protects the way an invention is used or how it works, and it is issued for any process, machine, article of manufacture, or compositions of matters, or any new useful improvement.

A design patent protects only the ornamental appearance of an invention and not its utilitarian features, and it is issued for a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.

Finally, plant patent is issued for asexually reproduced, distinct, and new variety of plants.


Patent Process

Similarly to other intellectual property rights, the patent process consists of several steps. The first step in the process is to assess whether or not the patent is registrable. A preliminary search the Patent Register gives the inventor the chances of success to obtain the patent registration.

The entire process, from filing the application till receiving the registration, can take about three years or longer, depending upon the route you decide to follow.

The patent process consists of the following steps… [Read More]