Before receiving a patent, the inventor must fill out a patent
application. Preparing, prosecuting and completing the patent application
can be a complex task. First, the inventor must find a patent agent. A
patent agent is a registered representative of the Canadian Patent Office,
properly trained in the rules and regulations of patent law. The patent
agent represents the inventor before the Canadian Patent Office in a
similar fashion to how a lawyer represents a client in court.
Before filing a patent application, a search of the
existing patent records is necessary to see if the invention or a similar
invention has been patented before. There are hundreds of thousands of
patent records in Canada and approximately 15 million patent records
worldwide. With this many patent records, it would be impossible to
compare each patent. Therefore, the Canadian Patent Office issues an index
with major subject headings for easy reference to patented products.
The patent application must include a clear and
complete description of the invention and its usefulness and claims that
define the boundaries of the patent protection. The application must be
incredibly clear and complete to allow anyone with average skill in the
field to make or use the invention.
There is a prescribed fee to file claims, along with a
negotiated fee between the patent agent and the inventor. This makes the
filing and application process somewhat expensive, but excludes casual
inventors from filing invalid patent applications.
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