Summary of the evaluation of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office's (CIPO) Patent Services

Janvier 2017

À propos de l’évaluation

  • The evaluation focussed on CIPO's largest business line, patents, with emphasis on the impacts on Canadian clients.
  • It covers the five-year period from April 2010 to March 2015.

What the evaluation found

Program description

  • CIPO is responsible for administering Canada's system of IP rights including the granting of patents and the registration of trademarks, copyrights and industrial designs.
  • CIPO's mandate is to deliver high quality and timely IP products and services to customers, and to increase Canadian's awareness, knowledge and effective use of IP.
  • CIPO is a Special Operating Agency fully funded by user fees.
  • Patenting generates 79% of CIPO revenues.
  • There is a need for patent protection as it encourages competitiveness, knowledge diffusion and market entry.
  • CIPO's work supports the federal government's priorities related to innovation and Canada's international obligations.
  • Canadian SME's may not be making the best use of their Intellectual Property (IP) due to low awareness of the benefits of IP and CIPO services. CIPO has done some outreach, but more is required.
  • While CIPO has reduced wait times for processing patent applications, applicants in certain market segments could benefit from further reductions.
  • CIPO has largely met its client service standards; however, those standards could better reflect client needs.
  • While there is some evidence CIPO is providing high-quality patents, additional performance information and research on the macroeconomic impact of patenting would provide greater insight.
  • CIPO clients would like to see improvements to online services and greater consistency in patent examination reports, as well as new services to assist them with obtaining and commercializing their patents.
  • Moving forward, significant IT investments will be required to improve CIPO's client services and operational efficiency.

Recommendations (as agreed upon by management)

  1. In its 2017–2022 Business Strategy, CIPO should articulate the results it expects to achieve, develop performance measures to track progress and report against those annually.
  2. To increase Canadian innovators' awareness, understanding and effective use of patents, CIPO should move forward with modernizing its existing services, as well as offering new business services to clients.
  3. Following on significant progress in reducing patent processing times and increasing it operating efficiency, CIPO should re-examine its patent service standards and respond to client concerns about the patent examination processes.