Did you know that it can take up to 31 months to go through the examination process when applying for a patent in Canada? It’s even longer than in the U.S., where the average is 23 months!
This time period starts to roll at the moment of filing the patent application, but it can be influenced by the decisions you make during the filing and prosecution stages. This means you may not have to wait 31 months before you get the patent.
If you take the right turns and steps, it is possible to expedite the process and get your patent in Canada ahead of time. However, fast is not always best – if you have a limited budget, it makes sense to spread out the costs.
But, if you are not ready to wait a few years, here are a few things you can do to expedite the process.
#1: Hire a Professional
If your budget allows it and you want to speed up the patent examination, it does help to have a specialist in patent law in Canada on your team.
You can choose between a law firm or an independent law specialist (depending on your budget), but their knowledge of the patent application process will help move things along.
#2: Check If Your Application Has Priority
Given the current level of economic unrest, some fields have priority. Here are a few areas that may grant your patent application a faster examination:
The world is struggling to tackle the climate change crisis and one of the solutions is the development of sustainable green economy practices that involve technological advancements.
Given that we are still in the incipient phases of the process, most patent offices in the world would prioritize patent applications for technologies that have a chance to mitigate the climate change crisis.
Inventions related to medical products and technologies will be placed in the fast lane in an effort to help as many people as possible.
Also, patent offices are especially interested in inventions that support small businesses during the pandemic, since this area is one of the most impacted by the pandemic and the government’s response.
Other Forms of Priority
If your invention doesn’t fit the two areas mentioned above, it is still possible to speed up the process.
For this, you have to prove that the regular speed of the patent approval process may prejudice the rights of any of the parties involved with the invention. In this case, your patent request will undergo an advanced examination under special order.
Also, if you have a corresponding patent application or grant with any of the offices involved in the global PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway) that also partners with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, you can request an accelerated examination in Canada.
#3: Trick the System
The world of patent applications works on a first come, first served model. This means that, as long as all the requirements are met, the patent rights will be granted to the first entity that files an application.
This rule makes the process quite difficult when trying to patent an invention in highly competitive industries where the technology and procedures are constantly evolving.
You never know when another inventor reaches the same conclusions as you, in a different part of the world. That’s why, once an idea presents itself, the race to the finish line is quite terrible!
But you can use the provisional patent application (only available in the U.S.) to ‘trick the system’ and grab an early date. The only equivalent of a provisional patent application in Canada is an incomplete application.
Regardless of what option you choose, this trick will grant you a priority claim during the examination process and can help you win the race.
Patents are often misunderstood, which is why it’s important to understand all the tools at your disposal when it comes to protecting intellectual property. Yet, if the patent is the right choice, you have to move fast and grab the earliest application date.
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