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Obtaining a patent outside of Canada

A Canadian patent issued from the patent office of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office only protects the inventor in Canada. A patent issued in Canada does not protect your interest in your invention in any foreign market. If you wish to protect your rights in other countries, you must apply for a patent that applies in those countries.

There are two ways to apply for a foreign patent. You can submit an international patent application within Canada through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Alternatively, you can submit a patent application at the patent office in the country where you seek patent protection.

Keep in mind that the patent laws and application processes vary from country to country. In some countries, you may be unable to obtain a patent if your invention has been made public before your application was filed. In countries where those rules apply, you will be unable to obtain a patent if your invention has been sold, advertised, displayed or published before applying for a patent.

Patent application processes and patent law issues are complicated and technical in Canada alone. Things become even more complicated when you seek patent protection in other countries because the rules and processes can vary widely. It is advisable to seek advice and assistance from a registered patent agent with experience in international patent applications. Your lawyer may be able to help you find a suitable agent.

Read more:

Canadian Intellectual Property Office

A guide to patents