How your patent application is processed (Page 4 of 5)
- Corresponding with the Patent Office
- Receiving your patent
- Appealing a refusal
- Review—How your patent application is processed
Corresponding with the Patent Office
When a patent examiner objects to the claims in a patent application, the applicant often fixes the application by changing, taking out or adding new claims.
Before you change your application, you should decide (maybe with the help of a registered patent agent) whether to go forward and make changes or simply give up the application and avoid additional costs.
At this point, you and the Patent Office will usually communicate back and forth. The examiner will either send an “examiner’s requisition” (a report that details his or her objections or requests for changes) or, in the case of a minor defect, may contact you or your patent agent by phone as part of the Patent Examination Interview Service to discuss how the application should be amended.You would then respond to the examiner's requisition or phone call with a response. This would continue until the examiner allows the application, rejects it in a "final action", or you decide to abandon your application.
If the examiner rejects your application, it will automatically go to the Patent Appeal Board for a review of the objection(s). If the examiner allows your application, you will receive your patent.
Receiving your patent
Congratulations! You sent in a well thought out application, you have dealt with any issues raised by the examiner and you are about to get your patent!
Once the Patent Office approves (allows) your patent, you will get a Notice of Allowance by mail. You have four months from the Notice of Allowance to pay your final fee. The Patent Office will put together your grant and mail it to you a few weeks after you pay the fee. For information on our performance standards, please visit this link.
During the term of your patent, someone may ask that one or more of your claims be re-examined. This could result in your patent claims being cancelled, changed or confirmed. The request must be based on public, written descriptions of your invention, and you can appeal any of the decisions.
For more information on re-examination of a granted patent, see chapter 30 of the Manual of Patent Office Practice or contact CIPO.
Appealing a refusal
If an examiner rejects your patent application, the Patent Office will send you a report called a “final action”. When you receive a final action, you have a last chance to change your application. (Please see Chapter 26 of the Manual of Patent Office Practice for more information.)
The Patent Appeal Board (PAB) will study the final action and all the evidence that goes with it. As the applicant, you may ask that the Patent Office put together an oral hearing. The PAB, after hearing from everyone involved, will make a recommendation to the Commissioner of Patents.
The Commissioner of Patents will look at all the evidence and then make a decision. This will include a brief statement about the reasons for the decision. If the Commissioner supports the examiner's opinion, the Patent Office will tell you about the reasons and you will have a chance to change your application so that it follows the Patent Act and Patent Rules.
If the Commissioner decides that the examiner's rejection was not right, the Patent Office will return the application to the examiner for further prosecution.
An applicant may appeal a decision of the Commissioner of Patents to the Federal Court of Canada.
Review — How your patent application is processed
- We strongly recommend that you start your application process with a search of existing patents. The results of this search will not guarantee that your patent request will succeed. But by searching you can see if your invention has already been patented or disclosed to the public before you spend time, money and effort sending us a patent application.
- When you file for a patent, you send a patent application to the Patent Office. The filing date, which is the date the Patent Office gets your application, is a key date in the application process.
- Your patent application is not automatically put through the examination process; you have to formally ask us to examine your application and you must also pay an examination fee. You can make this request when you file your application, or anytime within four years of filing.
- You may pay fees yearly or for several years at a time. To give you an idea of the timeframes involved and the associated fees, consult the fees table.
- If you are an individual or a small organization of 50 people or less, you can claim small entity status and your fees will be reduced. Just remember to apply as a small entity.
- Patent examiners frequently object to one or more claims in a patent application.
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