Intellectual Property in Canada

Having an Australian trade mark, patent, design right or plant breeder’s right (PBR) doesn't secure protection in Canada. Here's how you can protect your IP in Canada.

What types of IP can you register?

In Canada, you can protect your IP with a trade mark, patent, design right or PBR.

What to consider

Before applying, make sure you:

  1. Understand what's considered a trade mark in Canada and if your trade mark is eligible for protection
  2. Consider whether you should apply for a trade mark in Australia first
  3. Know the cost of applying for a trade mark in Canada and through the Madrid System
  4. Understand how to conduct a thorough search to make sure your trade mark hasn't already been protected in Canada.

How to apply

There are two ways to apply for a trade mark in Canada:

  1. Directly to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
  2. Through the Madrid System.

How to apply via CIPO  How to apply via the Madrid System

What to consider

Before applying, make sure you:

  1. Understand what's considered a patent in Canada and if your idea is eligible for protection
  2. Consider whether you should apply for a patent in Australia first
  3. Know the cost of applying for a patent In Canada
  4. Understand how to conduct a thorough global search to make sure your idea hasn't already been published.

How to apply

There are two ways to apply for a patent in Canada:

  1. Directly to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
    • If you have a provisional application, you'll need to file within 12 months to secure that priority date.
  2. Through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
    • If you have an international application, you can apply to CIPO and convert your application into a Canadian patent application. This is called 'entering the national phase'.

You may also be entitled to fast track examination under the Global Patent Prosecution Highway.

How to apply via CIPO  How to apply via the PCT 

What to consider

Before applying, make sure you:

  1. Understand what's considered a design right in Canada and if your design is eligible for protection
  2. Consider whether you should file your design right application in Australia first
  3. Know the cost of registering a design right in Canada
  4. Understand how to conduct a thorough global search to make sure your design hasn't already been published.

How to apply

To register a design right in Canada, apply directly to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

How to apply via CIPO

What to consider

Before applying, make sure you:

  1. Understand what's considered a PBR in Canada and if your plant variety is eligible for protection
  2. Consider whether you should apply for a PBR in Australia first
  3. Know the cost of registering a PBR in Canada
  4. Understand how to conduct a thorough search to make sure your PBR hasn't already been registered in Canada.

How to apply

To register a PBR in Canada, apply directly to the Plant Breeder's Rights Office.

How to apply via the Plant Breeder's Rights Office

What other IP can you register?

Canada also administers IP rights for copyright, integrated circuit layouts and geographical indications.

Copyright

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is responsible for registering copyright in Canada.

Integrated circuit layouts

The Office of the Registrar of Topographies administers the registration of integrated circuit layouts in Canada.

Geographical indications

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is responsible for registering geographical indications in Canada.

What can be protected without registration?

Trade secrets

As in most parts of the world, there's no formal application or registration process for trade secrets in Canada.

Further guidance

  • To find out about Canada's World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) membership, check out Canada's WIPO member page.
  • If you're considering exporting to Canada, the Export Council of Australia provides information on licensing, clearances and access to finance and trade agreements.
  • For information about Canada's export market and economy, you can check Austrade and DFAT's Canadian profiles.