2020-2021 Annual Report
Spotlight on the Patent Appeal Board

, marked the 50th anniversary of Canada's PAB, a small but important part of the IP ecosystem. The PAB is an advisory body to the Commissioner of Patents and is made up of senior Patent Office officials who carry out the critical function of providing an independent review of patent applications that have been rejected by examiners in final action. Recommendations based on review findings are then provided to the Commissioner of Patents for the disposal of these applications.

The Commissioner of Patents makes decisions that are quasi-judicial in nature, which are then subject to appeal in Federal Court. Court decisions stemming from such appeals have led to important clarifications and changes to patent law in Canada.

In 1970, the PAB comprised a single member, who held the title of Chair. Today, the PAB consists of 11 members, each having previous experience in patent examination in 1 of 4 major technical disciplines: electrical, mechanical, biotechnology and chemistry. An administrative team supports the work of the members and assists the Chair.

Since its creation, the PAB has drafted more than 1,500 recommendations to the Commissioner of Patents regarding rejected patent applications.