Evidence of meeting #30 for Industry, Science and Technology in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was vote.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Sylvain Laporte  Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trade-marks and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Department of Industry
  • Gerard Peets  Senior Director, Strategy and Planning Directorate, Strategic Policy Sector , Department of Industry
  • Konstantinos Georgaras  Director, Policy, International and Research Office, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Department of Industry
  • Agnès Lajoie  Assistant Commissioner of Patents, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Department of Industry
  • Denis Martel  Director, Patent Policy Directorate, Strategic Policy Sector , Department of Industry

May 10th, 2012 / 9:40 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Don Valley West, ON

Maybe I could ask you in the interest of time, if you could, to give some thought to it and give us a few names that might add to the value of what we're trying to accomplish at this committee.

I would like to go back to some more rudimentary understanding of patents, if I could. This is to Mr. Laporte and Madame Lajoie.

Could you take me through the process? When I apply for a patent, if I'm a small business or whatever, you talk about an 18-month period when the patent application—with the detail—is open to the public. At what point in time does that happen? Is it at the end of the five years, or is it right out of the chute?

If I have an idea as a small business, you mention that I have five years to trigger the patent review. How do I protect myself in that first five years, if I believe the idea is intellectually important?

9:45 a.m.

Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trade-marks and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Department of Industry

Sylvain Laporte

You touched on a number of points. I will try to answer, and then we'll see—

9:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Don Valley West, ON

We have limited time, so I'm trying to cover it all.

9:45 a.m.

Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trade-marks and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Department of Industry

Sylvain Laporte

When you apply, you have 18 months during which we do not disclose your invention.

I think you said we would disclose.

9:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Don Valley West, ON

I'm sorry, I understood there was an 18-month period where that application was visible to the public, or to anybody who—

9:45 a.m.

Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trade-marks and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Department of Industry

Sylvain Laporte

When you file with us, for 18 months, although you disclose to us, we will not make it public. You're protected from that perspective, but at the 18-month point, we do make it public.

9:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Don Valley West, ON

Okay. When do companies generally make that application? Is it at the beginning of the five-year period?

9:45 a.m.

Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trade-marks and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Department of Industry

Sylvain Laporte

Right. The clock starts when they apply.

9:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Don Valley West, ON

When they apply, but that's not at the 60-month point.

9:45 a.m.

Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trade-marks and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Department of Industry

Sylvain Laporte

About 30% of applications will request examination and application. Then you have five years. You know, if you look at a histogram over the five years, about 30% apply right off the bat, then another 25% apply at the five-year point. Those are the people who want to take their time with respect to the application.

So there's a distribution there of when they ask us to do the examination.

9:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Don Valley West, ON

At what point does the patent pending label actually kick in?

9:45 a.m.

Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trade-marks and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Department of Industry

Sylvain Laporte

As soon as they apply.

9:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Don Valley West, ON

That's at application, so if I do that right at the beginning of the five-year period, that patent pending lasts as long as it takes for you to finally declare that the scope meets your criteria.

9:45 a.m.

Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trade-marks and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Department of Industry

Sylvain Laporte

That a decision is made. You could withdraw your patent at some point.

9:45 a.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Don Valley West, ON

And that would protect me as a business or an intellectual property owner.