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Added: 7 months ago

What can be protected using a patent application?

What are some of the examples of what's considered an "invention" and thus could be patentable in Canada?

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Dominic Alfred

IP and Technology Lawyer, Alfred Law

A Canadian patent may be obtained for any new invention, including processes, machines, methods of manufacturing or a composition, or any new and useful improvement to one of the above that is applicable to industry. The key is that there must be at least one new and innovative element to the invention or improvement. That being said, Canadian patents cannot be issued to protect a scientific principle or theorem in the abstract without a practical application.

Canadian courts have ruled that business methods are patentable in Canada. However, CIPO has implemented examination policies that create new obstacles to patenting business methods and computer-implemented inventions in general.

Claim format and content can make a big difference between acceptance and rejection for certain technologies. For example, methods that provide practical therapeutic benefits to subjects are considered methods of medical treatment, and are not patentable in Canada. However, therapeutic innovations may generally be captured in the form of "use" claims. Also, higher life forms - such as multicellular plants and animals - are not patentable per se, but a higher life form may be protected by directing claims to a cell having distinctive characteristics.

Answered: 7 months ago