How your patent application is processed (page 3 of 4)


1. Request for Examination

Tel.: (Number will be indicated in correspondence)

What happens… How we'll inform you…
Your application will only be examined when you formally request examination, pay the prescribed fee and if you have complied with the completion requirements (which, if applicable, would have been requested at time of filing). Your request must be filed within the time limit of 5 years from the filing date of your application. If you fail to submit the request within the time limit, your application will be abandoned*. Request for examination submitted at time of filing of a Canadian patent: your request for examination will be acknowledged on your filing certificate.

Request for examination submitted at the entry into the National Phase of a PCT application: Your request for examination will be acknowledged on your acknowledgement of national entry.

A patent examiner will determine whether your application meets the requirements of the Patent Act and Patent Rules and the three required conditions: novelty, utility and inventiveness. Request for examination submitted within 5-year time limit: your request for examination will be acknowledged by letter.
If your application is acceptable, it will pass to the next step, which is Allowance. See Allowance section.
If your application is not acceptable, the examiner will explain the reason(s). You will have opportunities to make amendments or argue against the examiner's objections.

If you fail to respond to the examiner's requisition, within the required time, your application will be abandoned*.

If your application is rejected, you will receive a Final Action from the examiner.

If there are problems with your application, you will receive an Examiner's Report which will specify the objections.

...and when

Results by March 31, 2010 are: 80% of applications with a request for examination will be waiting for a first substantive office action less than (by specialty):

  • Biotechnology: 21 months
  • Electrical: 30 months
  • Mechanical: 18 months
  • Organic chemistry: 18 months
  • General chemistry: 18 months (90% of applications)


2. Patent Appeal Board

Tel.: 819-997-1925

What happens… How we'll inform you… …and when Fees
If your response to a Final Action does not overcome all of the examiner's objections, your application will be sent, on request, to the Patent Appeal Board for review. On request, a hearing can be conducted by the Board. You will receive a letter from the Patent Appeal Board informing you that your application is before the Board. …within 1-3 months. none
The Board will then make a recommendation to the Commissioner of Patents who will make a decision. If the Commissioner refuses to grant a patent on your application, you may appeal to the Federal Court within 6 months. The Commissioner will issue a Decision of the Commissioner of Patents.

* Applications which are abandoned can be reinstated by making a request within the prescribed time limit, taking the necessary action and paying a reinstatement fee (Item 7).

| Table of Contents | Prior to examination |
| Maintenance Fees & Assignments | Examination | After examination |

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