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Canadian Patents Database

Help: General Information


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For questions or assistance related to the Canadian Patents Database, please contact us.

Background

The Canadian Patents Database is an interactive search site designed to help you create simple and powerful searches on Canadian patent information.

The database contains patent documents from 1869 to the present. This database is updated regularly with newly granted patents and applications opened to public inspection. For the last updated information of the database, see the Currency of information area.

The electronically available patent information consists of patent document images and bibliographic and text data.

Searches are performed against the bibliographic and text data fields only, and a "hit list" of matching patents is returned. Images are not searchable but can be viewed for any particular patent that has been returned in a hit list.

The text of the abstracts and claims is not available for patents that were granted prior to August 15, 1978. These patents can only be searched by their patent number, titles, owner, inventor, or classification.

Currency of Information

The information for applications filed directly in the Patent Office will normally be available on this site, within one week of the Open to Public Inspection date. Because all parts of an application are not required at the time of the filing, data field images and text sections of the document may be absent.

The information for Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications that enter the Patent Office are delayed from being available on this site because of normal processing restraints. Most parts of the document will normally be available within 9 weeks of the national entry date; however, the text could become available up to 5 weeks later. As mentioned above, because all parts of an application are not required at the time the application becomes available for public inspection, data fields, image and text sections of the document may be absent.

The information for New Act patents (patent numbers greater than 2,000,000) will normally be updated on this site, within one week of the issuance of the patent.

The information for Old Act patents (patent numbers less than 2,000,000) are always delayed from being available on this site, because of normal processing restraints. Most parts of the document will normally be available within 4 weeks; however, the text could become available up to 2 weeks later.

Completeness of Date Fields

The issue date is searchable from 1869 to the last updated date. The filing date is not available for patents registered prior to August 15, 1978. The priority date and the national entry date are not available for patents registered prior to October 1, 1989.

Site Availability

The site and the network have windows of planned general maintenance activities from Saturday at 6:00 p.m. to Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET. During this period of time there may be disruptions to the image database or to the site.

Database maintenance is performed each Saturday between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. ET. During this period of time images might not be available.

Patent

A patent is a government grant giving the exclusive right of making, using or selling an invention. A Canadian patent is effective only in Canada. A patent document can be either a granted patent, or an application open to public inspection.

For patent applications filed before October 1, 1989, the term of the patent is normally 17 years from the date of issue. However, where the term for the patent had not expired before July 12, 2001, then the term is 17 years from the issued date or 20 years from the filing date, whichever term expires later.

For patent applications filed on or after October 1, 1989, the term of the patent is 20 years from the date of filing of the application.

The right of a patent is conditional on the payment of the annual maintenance fees.

For more information about patents, visit CIPO's Web site.

Language Considerations

Canadian patent applications can be filed in either English or French. All patent documents on this site display both English and French titles. However, for applications filed between 1960 and 1978, titles are available only in the language used at the time of filing. For patent documents originating from PCT applications, abstracts are available in both official languages.

Patent Classifications

Patent documents filed prior to October 1, 1989, are classified according to the Canadian Patent Classification (CPC) system. Patent documents filed on or after October 1, 1989, are classified according to the International Patent Classification (IPC) system. The present version of the IPC (IPC-2006 or IPC version 8) is in force since January 1, 2006. The two latest versions (7 and 8) can be consulted on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Web site.

Database Overview

Presently, the database lets you search for patent documents by number, by IPC/CPC, PCT applications, availability of licence, language of filing or by words in the inventor, inventor country, owner, owner country, title, abstract, and claims' fields. These searches can be restricted to selected date ranges on any date field. You can:

  • use the Patent Document Number Search to find a specific patent document by its number;
  • use the Basic Text Search to find patent documents containing a specific word or phrase;
  • use the Boolean Text Search to find patent documents with words or phrases in one, two or three text fields, using boolean connectors (AND or OR) to narrow or expand your search; and
  • use the Advanced Text Search to find patent documents with words or phrases in any of the searchable fields or consult the search language help to form a complex query.

From the search results screen, you can view patent details (abstract and claims) by clicking on the patent number. Occasionally, the patent abstracts and claims will have imbedded diagrams or formulas that cannot be converted to text; these images will not appear in the patent detail text screens, but you will see the following icon:

Image icon

You can see these non textual components by requesting the patent document images.

Similarly you can also download the images of a patent in Adobe Acrobat™ PDF format by clicking on the "PDF" link. The primary purpose of this facility is to provide a quality print capability.