CIPO Business Strategy 2012-2017 (Page 5 of 13)

CIPO Business Strategy 2012-2017 (PDF: 5.8 MB; 27 pages)

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Part III

Strategic Pillars


The cast of those who make use of IP rights is diverse and the scope of their needs and business models is varied. There are significant gaps in our knowledge of those who are the creators and inventors and who drive productivity in the Canadian economy. Becoming more familiar with the complex and evolving nature of business strategy and the decision-making processes that underlie the use of IP will allow CIPO to support innovative undertakings and business success more effectively.

To assist businesses, creators and inventors, there is a community of IP intermediaries such as patent and trademark agents with whom CIPO works on an ongoing basis. CIPO will continue to improve this relationship and tap into their experience and expertise so that we may better meet the needs of our customers.

Goal: To understand the needs of customers and their requirements to innovate.


  • Improve understanding of customers to support competitiveness and innovation, and to inform policy.
  • Inform customers about IP to allow them to extract more value from their innovation.
  • Undertake targeted outreach.
  • Increase two-way communications with customers to improve service delivery.


  • Conduct customer segmentation analysis to better understand our customers.
  • Develop and implement a customer relationship management framework.
  • Undertake targeted outreach.
  • Employ existing and new channels for improved, two-way communications.

Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation is a process to identify customers and unmet customer needs. CIPO will employ a segmentation process to identify the current and potential users of IP rights and IP information. A better understanding of their various needs and any barriers to their successful use of the IP system will allow CIPO to meet their needs and improve the quality of our services.

As customers' needs are not static but evolve over time in response to the market or business conditions, a strengthened internal analytics capacity focused on customers will also allow us to track customer segment trends over time. This will provide us with ongoing insights into our customers' situations and allow us to address changes in the innovation cycle more effectively.

Customer Relationship Management Framework

An increased focus on understanding customers will enhance CIPO's capacity for meaningful and productive customer engagement and will improve the quality of our services. During our customer segmentation work, we will build a solid understanding of customers that will help us launch our customer relationship management framework. This framework will guide both CIPO's outreach and administrative service policies, and will encompass the breadth of our interactions with customers.

Targeted Customer Outreach

Increasing knowledge among Canadian innovators about the strategic importance of IP will assist them in better exploiting this critical asset. Equipped with a more comprehensive knowledge of our customers, CIPO's outreach efforts will become more targeted and efficient, and will include direct communications with customers as well as building on partnerships to increase our reach within targeted customer segments.

Customer-Focused Communications

Timely and accurate communication with customers is a key component of any customer-focused effort. CIPO will continue to use existing approaches while also employing more interactive channels and tools that allow for meaningful two-way communications.

How We Will Define Success

CIPO will have an improved understanding of customer needs, expectations and requirements to innovate. With this information, CIPO will become a more customer-centric organization. As well, CIPO will enhance key relationships to extend our reach to the broader customer base. CIPO will modernize its online approach to further demonstrate its value to customers and improve two-way communications.

Access to Innovative Knowledge

The basis of IP systems is that creators can exclude others from profiting from the creation and use of their intellectual property for a limited period. In exchange for the exclusive right that they can use to achieve a return on investment, create jobs and fund ongoing research and development, they must release information about their innovation. Access to this information can yield significant benefits, whether it is in aiding follow-on innovation, facilitating business opportunities and growth, or supporting informed decision-making. In this way, innovative knowledge and the IP rights that protect it are key drivers of economic growth.

Goal: To be recognized as a valuable contributor of technical and business knowledge throughout the innovation cycle.

Objectives: To provide accessible, trusted, and relevant information to:

  • Aid inventors throughout the innovation process.
  • Enhance transparency to facilitate new business opportunities.
  • Provide robust evidence in support of policy development and decision-making.


  • Build a greater understanding of information users and their needs.
  • Provide better access to up-to-date IP information.
  • Build business analytical capacity.
  • Develop and leverage partnerships for building knowledge and dissemination of knowledge.
  • Enable the transfer of knowledge, increase the effectiveness of user interfaces, and make data more easily searchable.

Innovative Knowledge to Support Innovators

As the information in CIPO's databases contains significant potential economic value, CIPO can contribute to the competitiveness of Canadian firms by providing easy access to this information, which includes the latest in technological, scientific and intellectual advances.

This could assist business and innovators to:

  • find solutions to technological problems;
  • better allocate R&D resources and reduce the duplication of work;
  • identify researchers and possible partners in various fields;
  • identify research trends by both type of invention and origin;
  • identify possible licensing opportunities; and,
  • better understand the value of patent portfolios.

CIPO will therefore pursue a more active role to help innovators strategically use CIPO's assets — its information, technology, services and expertise. We will concentrate on understanding users of IP information so we can customize search tools designed to serve their needs and perspectives. We will make investments to ensure useable and accessible data, and we will cultivate partnerships with key innovative intermediaries in support of this work.

Business Analytics to Support Decision Makers

Business analytics brings CIPO to the forefront of the international IP office community in terms of providing timely, detailed, meaningful and accurate IP information. This information includes: summary statistics of IP rights; analysis of trends over time; growth of IP in specific industries and technology areas; and, data to support evidence-based policy decision-making. The intelligence from this information will benefit innovators, both companies and individuals, by providing a clearer picture of what is occurring in innovative sectors that use IP. It will also support CIPO's efforts to increase the awareness and use of the IP system and to provide stronger input into policy development.

Transparency of IP Filing Information to Support the IP Marketplace

As innovators also need to stay informed of activity in their technology area, mechanisms will be improved to allow them to receive current information in their area of interest when new ideas enter the IP system and when they are released into the public domain or become available for licensing opportunities.

The transparency of the IP system is also vital if we are to support the rapidly evolving market for IP rights. A transparent and accessible IP system can provide a platform upon which IP can be more easily transacted so that innovative knowledge and technologies can be moved to their most efficient uses in the economy. CIPO will pursue approaches to ensure that the IP registry is more accessible.

How We Will Define Success

Customers will have improved and increased access to innovative knowledge contained in CIPO's databases. This will enable them to become strategic users of leading-edge IP information. As well, they will benefit from IP information products that are easily accessible, user-friendly and readily distributed. Furthermore, CIPO will better leverage its strategic partners to disseminate information and bring value to information products that range from raw data to value-added reports and tools.

Modern IP Framework

The complex interconnectedness of modern IP amplifies the need for CIPO to enhance predictability and clarity in the administration of IP rights. In this regard, all elements of the IP framework — legislation, regulations, and international collaboration — play a role in supporting the elements of certainty, quality, timeliness and business success. However, there are challenges facing all IP offices that can influence these elements: growing inventories of applications, new technological combinations of increasing complexity, evolving and diverse customer expectations, and a growing IP marketplace that is fuelled by both traditional and emerging IP business models. Ensuring that Canada can respond effectively to these issues is critical since the acquisition and maintenance of IP rights play such a significant role in supporting a global outlook among Canadian firms and attracting investment.

Goal: To enhance the commercial success of Canadian businesses by ensuring that all aspects of the IP administrative and regulatory framework support innovation and competitiveness, increase clarity and certainty, and reduce red tape.


  • Establish an efficient and effective administrative and regulatory framework that supports the acquisition of quality rights in a timely fashion with a commitment to continually reduce red tape.
  • Expand international cooperation to help Canadians compete globally and make Canada a destination for investment.
  • Implement an administrative policy and research function that provides evidence-based policy in support of clarity, certainty and transparency.


  • Undertake continual efforts to ensure that IP regulations are modern and drive towards improved timeliness, improved certainty and reduced red tape.
  • Ensure an active international agenda to: support global businesses through framework harmonization; influence key international fora; and, fulfil obligations of Canada's trade agreements and provide technical expertise in the negotiation and implementation of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.
  • Build policy research capacity and a forward policy research agenda to provide timely, knowledgeable and informed advice to support IP modernization and administrative improvements.

Regulatory Modernization and Red Tape Reduction

An IP framework that effectively supports innovation must focus on providing a net benefit to applicants and the public interest. Based on the need for an IP framework that is both internationally competitive and supports the current business environment, CIPO will examine its IP regulations and administration to achieve an end state that is aligned with the following principles:

  • reduce regulatory and procedural burden;
  • streamline and clarify CIPO's administrative framework and procedures; and
  • improve alignment with our major international trading partners to allow business better access to international filing systems for IP.

A review of IP regulations will occur based on the outcomes of customer segmentation and discovery work, as well as CIPO's operational excellence initiatives that focus on maximizing customer value while minimizing waste through all of CIPO's value streams.

A New International Roadmap

The annual number of patent applications has risen from 800,000 applications worldwide in the early 1980s to almost 2 million in 2010, with marked growth also evident in trademarks, industrial designs and copyright. The rising demand for IP protection is to some extent driven by greater internationalization and the global nature of business and R&D investment. This can challenge both innovators and IP offices: innovators must bear the burden and cost of applying in multiple jurisdictions to receive IP protection, and this leads to a duplication of efforts across IP offices and a subsequent increase in global inventories.

In Canada, the vast majority of patent, trademark and industrial design applications come from abroad, and many applications have already been filed in multiple countries. Canadian innovators are also active on the global stage, as just under half seek IP rights in foreign markets. In the context of building a modernized IP administrative framework for businesses and inventors, CIPO can provide Canadian firms operating on a global scale with a more competitive advantage through a three-part approach:

  1. Supporting international harmonization and collaboration: CIPO's capacity to support businesses in taking advantage of the growth opportunities offered by foreign markets can be enhanced by examining where we can align Canada's IP system with its international counterparts through key international IP agreements, where we can work-share with other IP offices, and where we can influence harmonization activities at WIPO committees.
  2. Improving domestic and international performance: CIPO will focus on adopting best business practices, benchmarking, and helping the IPO community manage international issues through participation in international fora and WIPO committees.
  3. Meeting Canada's international obligations: CIPO will continue its technical cooperation activities at various levels and will target specific initiatives that help Canada continue to fulfil its technical assistance obligations under the Section 67 of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights under the World Trade Organization in support of developing countries.

The Need for Evidence-Based Policy

All elements of a modern IP framework are dependent on strong evidence-based policy. CIPO will enhance its research capabilities and build collaborative relationships with others such as Industry Canada and Foreign Affairs and International Trade to identify, analyze and explore IP issues to better inform policy decision in support of innovation and business success. CIPO will continue to work with the international IP community to strengthen analytical capacity and improve the reliability, comprehensiveness and timeliness of IP performance measures, indicators and economic data.

How We Will Define Success

CIPO will be fully prepared to ensure that Canada's IP framework supports innovation and the requirements of its customers. The IP administrative and regulatory framework will be more efficient and effective, reducing uncertainty, enhancing competitiveness, and improving the speed of service. CIPO's international strategy will be aligned with that of the federal government and in compliance with Canada's trade obligations. As well, we will support strong collaboration with our international partners. CIPO will be in a position to readily respond with evidence-based analyses and research in an informed, timely, and robust fashion for administrative and policy development purposes.

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