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Examination

You Control the Timing

Examination of your Canadian patent application will not start until the applicant requests it. A request for examination must be made within 5 years of the the International Filing Date.

Fee Payable When Examination Requested

The exam fee is due when examination is requested, and not before.

Rarely Requested Immediately

It is rare to request examination when you first file your Canadian application, unless you have an urgent need to pursue infringers. Deferral of saves money (both the examination fee, and subsequent prosecution costs), and sets you up to use the PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway) upon allowance of your claims elsewhere.

Fees

Conventional Examination:
Government fee is $400 CDN for small entity and $800 CDN for a large entity. Our fees: $250 CDN.

Accelerated Examination:
Government fee is $500 CDN. Our fees: $250 CDN.

Tip 1:

Use deferred patent examination in Canada to lower patent prosecution costs in Canada.   It is often a good idea to defer requesting examination in Canada in order to await the outcome of examinations and other jurisdictions. Deferring examination will allow the claims to remain open to amendment.

In addition, deferral of examination of the patent in Canada is particularly important if you want to use a ‘patent prosecution highway’ agreement to save costs by relying on the patent examination conducted in another country before CIPO. More on the PPH is found here.

If the need for examination arises, e.g. an infringement situation occurs in Canada, examination may be requested at that time.

When examination is requested in Canada, the claims and disclosure should be amended to incorporate all changes entered in other jurisdictions. Additional government and agency charges will apply for entering amendments, if not already effected prior to the request for examination.

Tip 2: 

Use accelerated patent examination in Canada to lower patent prosecution costs in other countries.  Accelerated patent examination is available in Canada on request. Nominal reasons suffice to obtain accelerated examination and a first examiner’s search and office action will typically issue in three months. This is an advantageous procedure as Canada is a PCT search and examination authority.  With the various patent prosecution highway agreements, and with the low threshold to request accelerated patent examination in Canada (and the low fees payable to CIPO) well-advised patent applicants with applications pending in multiple jurisdictions may want to use Canada as a preferred forum for rapid examination.  For instance, if a PCT application has been filed without a claim of priority, but designating Canada, claims allowed by the Canadian patent office can be used to obtain accelerated examination before the US patent office under the US patent office Patent Prosecution Highway program.