Questions & Answers

Posted by Cameron W. on 2016-06-05 21:44:00
Title: How to find a patent in Canada
Category: Technology

I found a product in Europe and am wondering how to find if there is a patent on something similar in Canada? Do you need to apply for patent for each individual country? Thanks, Cameron


Sunil Godse
2016-06-12 18:34:00

Lets tackle the patent question first. The patent process is very specific to both countries and continents. Therefore, if there is a patent for a product in Europe, then this may not apply to the US, and Canada. However, that being said, if the patent is trying to be approved in Canada or the US, the fact that there is a similar product may pose a problem from a patent process perspective, or even more so, a business perspective. If you are trying to make a minor change from the existing product as cornerstone to the patent, you still have two products that have similar functions, I believe. I say this without knowing fully what the product is and what changes you need to put in place to have a viable patent. You will also have a similar competing product which is very difficult to overcome with your new business as the existing product may already have marketshare that could possibly be insurmountable. Even if you have a potential business opportunity with a slightly changed product, it is sometimes better to bake a new pie rather then cut a smaller size of an existing pie, if you catch what Im trying to say. Then you have other countries like China that will rip off your product and make it at a much cheaper price point for the masses with no regard for any patent that exists.

If you still feel strongly about pursuing this opportunity, typically you can file a patent online In Canada which is the cheaper route, but probably not the most effective. Filing online is much better for trademarks where there is an easily searchable database. If it is a product, then you need a deeper search with much more criteria, which means that you definitely need the services of an experienced lawyer. I would really suggest that you use an experienced lawyer because there are others lawyers with little experience that can take you through the process of filing a patent at a cheaper rate, but they may not have the depth of experience to do the required searches for particular aspects of your product that would be key to ensuring that the patent remains strong. That being said, you are looking at several tens of thousands of dollars for the patent fees and more importantly the lawyers fees. The important message here is not to skimp on the cost of the process as although doing this could possibly save you thousands of dollars in the short-term,it may render a useless patent that can easily be sidestepped which gives you a long-term business headache.

Cameron Whims
2016-07-31 20:14:48
Followup question:
Thank you for your reply, and my apology for taking so long to respond. I have read it a few times now. It's a bit discouraging as ten's of thousands of dollars, to me is a lot of money. And to everyone, but the only way i could get that much money to invest in a patent would be with the help of a dragon L0L. I work on orchards and vineyards in the Okanagan Valley, Kelowna, and they don't pay that well. I am hoping I will come up with a good idea, or product to turn my full time job into a part time job. I did learn a lot from your reply. Can you explain how i would find out if a similar product has a trademark in Canada/ USA? Maybe you could show me a link to search for patents? Thank you again for your reply,