If you’re interested in protecting your ideas as an inventor or innovator, then you are probably curious about intellectual property (IP) and patent laws within Canada. More specifically, how we can protect our ideas best and most cost-effectively.
Patent law provides a number of major advantages. Although it is true that many of history’s greatest inventors and ideas did not utilize patents, that does not mean that you shouldn’t either. Patents hold a number of very noticeable advantages over “trade secrets”.
Going back decades, patents have had a very large role in innovation. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, used a patent filed (controversially) before another invention in order to dominate the field and make millions of dollars. His patent was what secured his invention against others. That’s the true value that patents can provide.
To dive into more specifics, if you come up with a unique idea (be it an innovation or an invention) you are entitled to protection of that idea (as long as it meets certain requirements). However, if you fail to legally protect that idea it is open to be stolen largely. If another person independently comes up with the same or a very similar idea, then have equal legal right to that idea if you have no legal protection. If you have legal protection, then you retain full rights.
Patents do have their downsides though. They can be expensive to get and maintain, so you have to be sure your idea is worth it. However, the biggest obstacle is the application itself. The process can be complicated and lengthy, so it’s recommended you use a dedicated and experienced patent attorney to help ease the process.…