Types of intellectual property
- Industrial Designs
- Integrated Circuit Topographies
- Plant Breeders' Rights
What kind of IP does a SME need?
A patent granted by the Patent Office of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) provides protection within Canada for up to 20 years from the date considered to be the filing date in Canada. For the purpose of the patent term, a patent application filed in Canada through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) has, as the Canadian filing date, the date when the application was first filed. You can receive a patent for products, processes, machines, manufactures or compositions of matter that are new and useful as well as new and useful improvements thereof.
A patent enables its owner to stop others from making, using, selling or importing such a product or process. This is a very powerful right since the patent owner could also use it to stop someone who subsequently, though independently, invents the claimed invention. In many cases, a patent is the only way its owner may ensure exclusivity in the marketplace, and hence a competitive edge.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can also use a patent to make a profit by selling it, licensing it or using it as an asset to negotiate funding. By licensing a patented invention, the patent owner allows a business or individual to manufacture and sell the invention, usually in exchange for royalties.
Further, patents are very effective marketing tools for selling new products or services based on new processes.