Frequently Asked Questions on CIPO’s fee payment practices

These frequently asked questions (FAQ) have been developed as a resource for clients to help clarify the changes related to CIPO's fee payment practices and the introduction of the Fee Payment Form. Click on one of the topics provided below or scroll to a specific question. For further information or questions, please contact the Client Service Centre at 1-866-997-1936.

FAQ topics


General questions regarding the Fee Payment Form and payment process

  1. Q: Why has CIPO introduced the Fee Payment Form and when do I begin using it?

    A: Currently, CIPO receives upwards of 800 000 paper documents annually. CIPO introduced the Fee Payment Form in an effort to: better protect clients' financial information; simplify the processing of paper-based fee payments; and increase efficiency in routing the associated requests within CIPO. The form also provides clients with a tool to help them transition to CIPO's new payment practice effective June 8, 2009 and should be used by this date. However, the Fee Payment Form can also be used prior to June 8, 2009. Development of the form was based on best practices at other IP offices, input from policy and operational staff, and consultations with our clients in November and December 2008.

  2. Q:Will another version of the Fee Payment Form (FPF) be released at a later date?

    A: The FPF is widely used by our clients. This form facilitates data management and responds to our clients' organizational needs. CIPO will not release a new version since the current one helps us to continually improve the quality of service we provide on a daily basis.

  3. Q: Is the use of the Fee Payment Form mandatory?

    A: If you are sending a payment by mail, facsimile or hand-delivery, CIPO strongly recommends the use of the Fee Payment Form. Using the form will improve the security of your financial information, as information submitted in the form will not be included in the file relating to an application and will not be made available for public inspection. The form will also reduce both mail-handling delays and the number of misapplied payments.

    For faster processing, you may continue to pay certain fees online using CIPO's electronic filing systems, as these systems also ensure the security of your financial information.

  4. Q: Is the Fee Payment Form the only method with which to make a payment now?

    A: No. A faster, more convenient way to make payments is via CIPO's electronic filing systems. The form is intended for fee payments sent by mail, facsimile or hand-delivery.

  5. Q: Do we submit our documents (such as covering correspondence) with the form?

    A: Yes, any substantive information, such as information concerning the purpose for which the fee is paid or information concerning the prosecution of an application, must be submitted in a separate document (such as covering correspondence). Submitting a fee payment using the form does not exempt the client from taking any other action required to fulfill the conditions pursuant to the relevant statutes and regulations. Information submitted in the form is not considered to form part of the substantive file relating to an application or any other procedure. CIPO does not make this information available for public inspection.

    Also, in order to help with the effective processing of your fee payment, please provide brief instructions or information regarding the purpose of your fee payment in the Purpose of Payment field (see Section 2 of the form: Application / Registration / Patent Information).

  6. Do I use the Fee Payment Form to replenish my deposit account?

    A: Yes, the Fee Payment Form should be used when replenishing a deposit account and sending payment to CIPO by mail, facsimile or hand-delivery.

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    Questions on how to use and complete the Fee Payment Form

  7. Q: Where can I obtain a paper copy of the form?

    A: The form is available for download online and can be printed from your computer. You can also submit a request online or call the Client Service Centre (1-866-997-1936) in order to have copies of the form mailed to you.

  8. Q: How do I download and save the form?

    A: To download the Fee Payment Form, simply click on the PDF link below and save the file to your computer. You can then complete the form and print it from your computer. If you prefer, you can also click on the XHTML link below, complete the form online, then print it from your computer.
    Fee Payment Form (PDF - 1.16 MB - 2 pages)
    Fee Payment Form (XHTML)

  9. Q: What version of Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to use the form in Portable Document Format (PDF)?

    A: To view and use the CIPO Fee Payment Form properly, it is recommended that you use Adobe Acrobat (Standard or Professional) software version 8 or higher.

    To check which version of Acrobat Reader you are using, click on the START button at the bottom left of your screen, select "Programs" from the list. The list of programs will appear and you will see the version number of the Adobe Reader you are working with (e.g., Adobe Reader 8).

  10. Q: How do I view the form with another version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (other than version 8)?

    A: If you are using a version of Adobe Acrobat Reader other than version 8, you must first download and save the form to your computer for the form to work properly. Next, open your Adobe Acrobat Reader software and select "File" from the top menu, then select "Open" from the drop-down menu. A new window will open from which you can retrieve the form you saved on your computer.

  11. Q: Can I save and reuse information once I have entered it into the form?

    A: Yes, information entered into the PDF version of the form can be saved and stored on your own computer for future use.

  12. Q: Can I complete the form by hand or must I complete it on my computer (or online) and then print it?

    A: All three methods of filling out the form (by hand, online or on your computer) are accepted by CIPO. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Please note that CIPO requires that the form be submitted by mail, facsimile or hand-delivery and will not accept the form by email.

    For faster processing, you may continue to pay certain fees online using CIPO's electronic filing systems, as these systems also ensure the security of your financial information.

  13. Q: How do I send the form to CIPO?

    A: Clients can send the form by facsimile, mail or hand-delivery. Please refer to the Contact Us page for CIPO's facsimile number and mailing address. For more details on our facsimile process, please refer to CIPO's Correspondence Procedures.

  14. Q: If I do not have an application, registration or patent number, is completing the field necessary?

    A: If you do not already have an application number, it is not necessary to complete this field. If you are submitting a new application, you will only receive your application number once your request has been processed. If you do have an application number, then it must be indicated on the Fee Payment Form to ensure that the request is processed accurately.

  15. Q: What is the Client Reference Number field on the form?

    A: The client reference number is your internal number and would be obtained from your company or firm. Consult the Fee Payment Form Help Guide for additional information.

  16. Q: What is the Listing Attached box?

    A: The Listing Attached box indicates to CIPO that you have included a detailed list outlining the contents of the package being sent to CIPO for fee payment. Consult the Fee Payment Form Help Guide for additional information.

  17. Q: Can an employee enter their name on behalf of a company in Section 3 of the form (Contact Information For Method of Payment)?

    A: Yes, an employee (e.g., an agent's clerk) can enter their name in Section 3 of the Fee Payment Form. However, it is important to note that some legislation restricts who can correspond with the Office. Therefore, the name of the company or firm on whose behalf the employee is entering their name should be clearly mentioned. Please check the applicable legislation for further information.

  18. Q: Which name do I use on the form?

    A: Enter the name of the contact associated with the method of payment being used. However, it is important to note that some legislation restricts who can correspond with the Office. Please check the applicable legislation for further information. See also the answer to the question above.

  19. Q: Must a method of payment be specified with each form?

    A: Yes, complete and accurate financial information concerning the method of payment must be included on the form or the fee payment may not be processed. There are four payment methods accepted on the form: credit card, deposit account, cheque / money order, and wire transfer. Please consult the instructions contained on the Fee Payment Form as well as the Help Guide for details pertaining to what information is needed to process the payment.

    For more information concerning payment methods and CIPO practices, consult the following Practice Notices:

  20. Q: Is the credit card identification number required to process the Fee Payment Form?

    A: The credit card identification number (also called the card verification value or card security number) is only required for credit cards issued outside of Canada. For Canadian-issued credit cards, the card identification number is not required.

  21. Q: Is it necessary to include an alternate method of payment in Section 5 of the form?

    A: No, it is not necessary to specify an alternate method of payment. This section is to be used at your discretion if you believe a second method of payment may be required to ensure that sufficient funds are available to cover the full payment. Please note that alternate payments can only be made by credit card or deposit account.

  22. Q: Is a signature required on the Fee Payment Form?

    A: Upon receipt at CIPO, the Fee Payment Form will be labelled with a bar code with the date. A signature is not required for the processing of a payment made (by credit card or other method) using the Fee Payment Form. Space is provided at the bottom of the form should you wish to include a signature and the date for your company or firm's internal purposes or procedures.

  23. Q: How do I cover a payment shortfall?

    A: Clients can indicate one, and only one, alternate method of payment to cover potential shortfalls. To protect your financial information, the alternate payment method information must be specified on the Fee Payment Form in Section 5. When necessary, CIPO will attempt to withdraw the funds from the methods of payment in the order in which they appear on the form. For more information regarding CIPO's payment practices, consult the following Practice Notices:

  24. Q: Can we integrate the Fee Payment Form with our company's internal systems?

    A: Yes, you can download, copy and save the Fee Payment Form to your own computer. Should you choose to recreate the form to integrate it with your internal systems, attention should be paid to creating a complete replica of all fields. This will aid in the effective processing of your information and request.

    For faster processing, you may continue to pay certain fees online using CIPO's electronic filing systems, as these systems also ensure the security of your financial information.

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