2021−2022 Annual Report
Building IP awareness and education

CIPO's IP awareness and education services is a key component of Canada's IP Strategy.

In 2021–2022, CIPO delivered IP awareness and education services to help Canadian businesses, entrepreneurs, creators, innovators and underrepresented groups such as women and Indigenous peoples consider IP and recognize its importance in growing their businesses.

Pivoting to digital approaches

In 2021–2022, CIPO continued to pivot its IP awareness and education services to digital approaches. CIPO developed new digital IP awareness and education tools and resources to help Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs unlock the value of their IP by using it strategically when growing to scale. CIPO also expanded its offerings to include new e-learning modules, factsheets, pre-recorded videos and a podcast series.

Throughout the year, CIPO hosted a number of webinars on a variety of topics. Aligning with the theme of World IP Day 2021, (IP and SMEs: Taking your ideas to market), CIPO, in collaboration with IPIC, launched a pre-recorded webinar on IP commercialization, highlighting some of the key skills and steps to commercialize ideas through partnering, licensing or selling IP rights.

As part of Canadian Innovation Week, CIPO hosted a webinar on the importance of IP in innovation. Participants learned about the elements and considerations in developing an IP strategy in order to help them extract value from their IP, protect their innovations or take their business abroad. In June 2021, members of the Patent Appeal Board participated in an IPIC webinar to share their insights on how best to represent client matters before the Board. Likewise, in February 2022, the Trademarks Opposition Board hosted a webinar to share best practices when conducting opposition proceedings concerning Madrid Protocol applications.

In 2021–2022, CIPO released a new e-learning module, Plan for success - Build an IP strategy, that teaches participants how to effectively manage IP assets and build an IP strategy to achieve business goals and gain a competitive advantage. This e-learning module is intended for SMEs that want to learn the fundamentals of an IP strategy, have registered or applied for IP rights or are looking to export their products or services in foreign markets.

Building on content available on the CIPO website, CIPO published a new web page on Canadian IP resources for small businesses. It provides a list of resources to help small businesses protect and commercialize their IP. In addition, a new factsheet on software and IP and 3 new IP roadmaps, on geographical indication objection proceedings, trademark expungement proceedings and opposition proceedings, were added to CIPO's IP Toolbox.

Uniting our efforts to help businesses

As we continued to operate in a pandemic environment, CIPO focused on extending its reach virtually by strengthening established regional and national networks and partnerships. Along the way, new partnerships were developed with associations and businesses in strategic and innovative sectors, including underrepresented groups.

IP is a crucial business tool at all stages of a company's development. To help Canadian SMEs better understand how to use IP more effectively, leading IP organizations in Canada came together to create the IP Village, a collaboration between CIPO and the Business Development Bank of Canada, Export Development Canada, Global Affairs Canada's Trade Commissioner Service, the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC), the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). This initiative leverages existing partnerships to build a working group where best practices, practical intelligence and questions and answers are shared. The first deliverable of the IP Village was a series of 5 webinars entitled IP Talks that covered the typical life cycle of IP (creating, formalizing, enforcing), government support (funding and assistance) and key considerations when expanding a business in global markets.

CIPO co-hosted a virtual event in collaboration with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, IPIC and ISED. Titled Indigenous Business and IP: Ensuring the Indigenous Economy's Continued Competitiveness and Growth, the event was attended by more than 70 participants. It featured a panel discussion with successful Indigenous entrepreneurs who shared their stories about how they leverage their IP to grow their businesses.

In May 2021, CIPO partnered with WIPO to co-host the Canadian series of roving webinars on WIPO services and initiatives, which were attended by hundreds of participants from around the world. The event featured a series of short interactive webinars with experts from both WIPO and CIPO as well as Canadian IP professionals, and provided insightful information on IP protection through the international IP system and other WIPO initiatives. Because the first series of roving webinars was designed for a national context, the webinars focused on Canada's IP landscape and gave an overview of WIPO services available to Canadian businesses.

CIPO continued to work closely with its existing partners to better equip innovators in leveraging their IP portfolios. We provided a number of presentations and training sessions to our national partners such as NRC–IRAP, Export Development Canada, Global Affairs Canada's Canadian Technology Accelerator and the Canadian Foreign Services Institute. CIPO also renewed its MOU with NRC–IRAP and formalized a new partnership with the Ontario Centre for Innovation.

In 2021–2022, CIPO continued to be at the heart of the IP and innovation conversation in Canada. CIPO participated in a number of virtual conferences, notably the Smart Energy Event and the Intellectual Property International Forum – Quebec. CIPO also held various presentations with regional organizations, including Innovation PEI, Invest Ottawa, MT Lab, l'École des entrepreneurs du Québec, Communitech, TechAlliance, the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises in the Prairies Region, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and chambers of commerce from coast to coast to coast. Additionally, CIPO's IP advisors across the country met virtually with more than 676 entrepreneurs and innovators to answer their IP questions and provide tailored IP resources.