Patent examiner recruitment

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CIPO offers job opportunities that are both interesting and challenging as well as possibilities for career development. As part of CIPO's Patent Office, you will join a group of professionals with various unparalleled expertise. Your responsibilities will involve activities aimed at serving Canadians with excellent intellectual property services.

Who we are

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is a special operating agency of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. As the Canadian authority on IP, we are responsible for administering Canada's system of intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies.

Our expertise and robust IP system stimulate an innovative and creative Canada, one that benefits from the advancement and protection of new knowledge, technology and design. CIPO is roughly 1000 employees strong, and is located in Gatineau, Quebec, within sight of the Parliament buildings.

We are an organization that is focused on its people. To this effect, CIPO supports its staff through competitive salaries and benefits, flexible work schedules, ongoing training, and a culture of respect and continuous improvement.

Within the Patent Branch, we have approximately 375 patent examiners specializing in disciplines relating to biotechnology, general and organic chemistry, and mechanical and electrical engineering. We read and analyze inventions described in patent applications. We search technical databases to ascertain how the invention improves upon the state of the art. We communicate with the applicant, or their patent agent, outlining our analysis and whatever defects need to be corrected before the patent can be approved.

Is this for you?

If you are an autonomous worker with a capacity for understanding how inventions work, strong technical writing skills, and a willingness to learn about intellectual property regulations, then please consider joining us!

Patent examiner responsibilities


What is compensation?

The entry level for patent examiners is at the SG-PAT-3 level.

For more information, please refer to the annual rates of pay for patent examiners, specifically under the section "SG - Patent Examination Group / Annual Rates of Pay".

What is generally included in the Federal Government's benefits package?

The Federal Government offers a wide range of benefits for its employees. These include:

Are there flexible work arrangements?

All CIPO employees can take advantage of flexible work hours. Once you've completed the two year training period and with the approval of your section head, you'll also be able to adopt a flexible work week and/or work-at-home.

Do I have to work weekends or travel for extended periods of time?

Overtime work is on a voluntary basis. We do not expect you to work overtime if you do not want to. The patent examiners who are involved with projects outside patent examination work might be expected to travel, and again, this is done on a voluntary basis.

Employment equity

Official languages

Do I need to be bilingual?

As approximately 96% of our examination workload is in English all entry level patent examiner positions are designated English essential. Furthermore, working level examiner positions are also English essential, unless the employee specifically requests a bilingual position.


What type of training does CIPO offer its staff?

New patent examiners are faced with a unique employment environment that requires a sustained and viable training program. The Patent Examiner Training Program provides them with the specific knowledge, abilities, and skills needed to perform the duties of the position and ensures quality and timely service to our clients. The training program length and probationary period is two years.

Formal training for new examiners comprises courses covering:

  1. orientation, overview, the basic components of a patent application, and the classification of patents;
  2. the Patent Act and Patent Rules, basic patent examination practices, and writing an examiner's report;
  3. complex patent prosecution practices;
  4. court proceedings, and jurisprudence.

In addition, on-the-job training and self-development is included in the training program.

During the first three months with CIPO, new trainees must complete courses 1 and 2 in a formal classroom setting and must subsequently pass the exams that cover this material. If successful, trainees are assigned on-the-job trainers (SG-PAT-05) for the next nine months, during which time they are required to work on patent applications of a particular subject matter specifically determined by the Section Head (SG-PAT-06).

During this period, the trainer and section head review all of the trainee's work.

At the 13- or 14-month point, trainees return to the classroom for a period of one month in order to complete courses 3 and 4, and must then successfully pass the exams related to this material. Upon completion of this portion of the training, trainees continue under the guidance and tutelage of the trainer until the end of the two year training period. At the end of the training period it is expected that they meet the required standards of the SG-PAT-04 level and if so, they are promoted and the probationary period ends.


I have applied to CIPO. How long before I get a response?

We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.

If I am offered and accept a position, would CIPO pay for my relocation if I reside elsewhere in Canada?

If you are offered a position, relocation assistance may be provided if this is a first appointment in the Public Service.

When would I be expected to report to work, if I am successful?

Your reporting date may be negotiable and would depend upon such factors as relocation considerations, obtaining the necessary security clearance, training schedule, etc. Security clearance can take several days.

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