CIPO Business Strategy 2013 - Inspired by Innovation. Committed to Success.

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A Framework for Action

Diagram of a framework for action. Details following

Details of A Framework for Action

More information can be found in the Business Strategy 2012-2017.


Our leadership and expertise in intellectual property support creativity, enhance innovation and contribute to economic success


  • Providing greater certainty in the marketplace through high-quality and timely IP rights
  • Fostering and supporting invention and creativity through knowledge sharing
  • Raising awareness to encourage innovators to better exploit IP
  • Helping business compete globally through international cooperation and the promotion of Canada's IP interests
  • Administering Canada's IP system and office efficiently and effectively

Strategic Pillars – in support of our mission

  • Customers
  • Access to Innovative Knowledge
  • Modern IP Framework

Enabling Pillars – in support of our mission

  • Highly Skilled Workforce
  • Responsive IT Infrastructure
  • Operational Excellence

Message from the Chief Executive Officer

Business Strategy Update (2013-2014): From Vision to Action

I am pleased to present the annual update of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Business Strategy that was launched in 2012 with a five-year horizon. We have had a very good first year.

It was a year of discovery as CIPO embarked on an ambitious path articulated in our new vision: Our leadership and expertise in intellectual property support creativity, enhance innovation and contribute to economic success. The foundation to deliver on this vision is now soundly laid.

This vision signalled the convergence of two critical realities:

  • One, that economic prosperity in a global economy is driven by new ideas and knowledge-based industries, and the value of many Canadian firms increasingly depends on their intangible assets, including patents, trademarks, copyright, and industrial designs.
  • Two, as intellectual property (IP) rights encourage new knowledge and innovation, CIPO has a key role to play in supporting the government's overall agenda of improving Canada's growth and enhancing our economic competitiveness. What we do and more important how we do it supports innovators directly. The speed, quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the administration of Canada's IP system can affect whether or not ideas are successfully commercialized and brought to market.

We had the great opportunity to meet with innovators—our customers—across Canada to understand their needs, their expectations and the barriers they face in effectively using and leveraging IP to support their business goals. These insights on the requirements of innovators and the innovation cycle in which they operate are now driving CIPO's priorities and performance goals.

We have also engaged other key players in the innovation cycle—universities, colleges, incubators and accelerators—to comprehend better their particular needs and what role CIPO can play in supporting the commercialization of ideas and improving brand value. Many of the themes raised by those that CIPO has met with were echoed by a Parliamentary committee that heard from over 50 expert witnesses for its report on the IP regime in Canada. Recommendations specific to CIPO's business centered on the need for quality, timeliness, reduced red tape, supporting international business activity, and more concerted awareness and outreach efforts to enable innovators to make better informed decisions about where and when to file and what options are available to them.

Over the last year, I was equally struck by the level of personal commitment CIPO employees have for the vision and the values we espouse as trusted partners in building an innovative Canadian economy, as proud employees of CIPO, and as individuals who value diversity and show respect for each other and customers.

This discovery year confirms the path we have taken and we will continually refine our approaches with your feedback. While we have learned a lot, we have also accomplished a lot:

  • Continuous improvement efforts resulted in a material reduction in turnaround times throughout CIPO.
  • CIPO made progress in reducing its inventory of unexamined applications and productivity continues to trend upwards.
  • Nearly 200 small and medium-sized enterprises were engaged in roundtable discussions across Canada.
  • A customer segmentation framework was developed that will allow CIPO to more easily identify the needs of innovators.
  • CIPO's IP case studies were evaluated and an action plan was implemented with a view to better serve the education community through improved delivery mechanisms.
  • Regulatory packages were developed that are designed to reduce administrative complexity and better reflect modern business practices.
  • Several Patent Prosecution Highway pilot projects were extended, increasing the benefits of work sharing.
  • A Centre of Expertise was established to assist managers with change initiatives and support the workforce in being more adept and thriving in times of change.
  • A new e-service offering was launched that allows CIPO clients to view their payment transaction history online.
  • A Business Improvement Services Centre of Expertise was created to support Lean activities that create operational efficiencies and value for our customers.

Going forward, CIPO will continue to deepen its commitment to supporting customers and business success. In the coming year we will undertake the following activities:

  • Take concrete actions to reduce application turnaround times while maintaining or improving product quality.
  • Continue to modernize our regulatory framework so that it reduces red tape, becomes more responsive to CIPO's customers and better reflects modern business practices.
  • Align ourselves with international IP systems and practices to better serve businesses that operate on a global stage.
  • Continue to modernize our Information Technology (IT) systems to ensure that our tools are responsive to both our workforce and customers.
  • Continue to improve our workforce by making learning opportunities more accessible while encouraging employee engagement and recognition.
  • Continue connecting with customers and those in the innovation cycle to ensure that we continually understand and are responsive to their evolving needs.

I invite you to take a look at the CIPO Business Strategy roadmap that shows what we have accomplished as well as the concrete steps we will be taking this year and beyond to reach our vision.

We are inspired by innovation and committed to success.

Sylvain Laporte
Commissioner of Patents, Registrar of Trademarks and Chief Executive Officer

Initiative Timelines - Pillars and Goals

Initiative Timelines - Pillars and Goals — Details following.
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Details of Initiative Timelines - Pillars and Goals

Activities started in 2012-13 are emphasized

Strategic Pillars


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

Priority Activity Time Frame
Understanding Our Customers Client and Stakeholder Consultations Q1 2012-13 to Q4 2013-14
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Develop a CRM Strategy Q1 2014-15 to Q1 2015-16
Targeted Outreach Develop and Improve Products and Tools for Innovative Businesses and Post-secondary Institutions Q3 2012-13 to Q4 2014-15
Improved Two-way Communications Develop Social Media Presence Q1 2012-13 to Q1 2015-16
Promotion of CIPO CIPO Web Renewal Q1 2012-13 to Q4 2015-16
Develop and Implement External Communications Strategy Q1 2014-15 to Q3 2016-17

Access to Innovative Knowledge

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

Priority Activity Time Frame
Identify Users of Innovative Knowledge Analysis of User Types and Needs Q1 2012-13 to Q4 2012-13
Develop Focused Strategy to Meet Customer Priorities Q1 2013-14 to Q3 2013-14
Continuous Engagement with Target Audience(s) Q4 2013-14 to Q4 2016-17
Improve Access to Innovative Knowledge Improve Accessibility of IP Data Online Q4 2012-13 to Q4 2016-17
Open Data Readiness Q3 2013-14 to Q2 2014-15
Open Data Roll-out Q3 2014-15 to Q2 2016-17
Develop Search and Share Capabilities Improve Functionality of Online Databases Q2 2014-15 to Q2 2016-17
Build Value-added Analysis and Products Develop and Implement Value-added Products and/or Services for Target Audience(s) Q4 2013-14 to Q4 2016-17
Leverage Partnerships for Knowledge and Dissemination Increase Dissemination of CIPO's Data Holdings Internationally Q3 2013-14 to Q4 2015-16

Modern IP Framework

To enhance 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.

Priority Activity Time Frame
International Harmonization Policy Development for International Harmonization and IP Modernization Q1 2012-13 to Q4 2016-17
Regulatory Modernization and Red Tape Reduction Regulatory Packages to Support Performance Improvement Plans (1) Q1 2012-13 to Q2 2014-15
Regulatory Packages to Support Performance Improvement Plans (2) Q3 2014-15 to Q4 2016-17
Renewed International Roadmap Implementation of International Roadmap Q4 2012-13 to Q4 2016-17
New Policy and Program Initiatives Implement Medium-term Policy Research Agenda Q1 2012-13 to Q4 2016-17
Examine Third Party Observations (Prior Art) Q1 2013-14 to Q4 2015-16

Enabling Pillars

Highly Skilled Workforce

A workforce that understands the commercial and social benefits of IP on the innovation plan and contributes to the economic success of Canada.

Priority Activity Time Frame
Build Capacity Develop Framework and Approach to Establish and Identify Key Competency Profiles Q2 2012-13 to Q4 2013-14
Develop Approach to Design Career Path Q2 2014-15 to Q1 2015-16
Employee Engagement/Employer of Choice Prepare IP Awareness Sessions Q2 2012-13 to Q3 2012-13
Deliver IP Awareness Sessions to Employees Q4 2012-13 to Q4 2013-14
Change Leadership Establish Change Leadership Centre of Expertise, Develop Approach and Integrate Change Leadership in Branches and Business Strategy Pillars Q1 2012-13 to Q2 2014-15
Change Leadership Training for Management and Employees Q1 2012-13 to Q4 2014-15
Learning-based Organization Develop an Integrated Talent Management Initiative Q1 2012-13 to Q3 2012-13
Identify and Build Future Leaders by Investing in Talent Management, Leadership and Learning Q3 2012-13 to Q4 2016-17

Responsive Information Technology Infrastructure

CIPO has responsive information technology (IT) systems that support CIPO's ability to encourage innovation and respond to the IP community's business needs.

Priority Activity Time Frame
Transition to a Modernized Set of Industry-proven Technologies Evaluate OHIM/TM 10 Solution Q2 2012-13 to Q4 2012-13
Evaluate Document Management Solutions Q4 2012-13 to Q1 2013-14
Document Management Q2 2013-14 to Q4 2016-17
Process Automation Q3 2013-14 to Q2 2017-onward
Correspondence Generator Q1 2014-15 to Q4 2017-onward
Business Intelligence Q1 2014-15 to Q4 2017-onward
Improve Online Customer Experience Client Relationship Management Q1 2015-16 to Q4 2017-onward
Render eServices WCAG Compliant Q1 2012-13 to Q2 2013-14
Modernize Current Online Channel Capabilities Q3 2013-14 to Q4 2014-15
ePayment System Enhancements Q1 2012-13 to Q4 2012-13
New Online IP Transaction and Information Access Q1 2013-14 to Q4 2016-17

Operational Excellence

CIPO provides quality IP rights in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Priority Activity Time Frame
Accountability Develop Performance Measurement Strategy Q1 2012-13 to Q1 2013-14
Integrated Performance Measurement Reports Q1 2013-14 to Q4 2016-17
Infrastructure Develop Activity-based Management Approach Q2 2012-13 to Q3 2012-13
Implement Activity-based Management Q3 2012-13 to Q2 2015-16
Process-based Organization Develop Process-based Organization Framework Q2 2012-13 to Q4 2013-14
Become a process-based Organization Q4 2013-14 to Q4 2016-17
Lean Processes Vision and Planning Q1 2012-13 to Q3 2012-13
Lean Employee Training Program Q2 2013-14 to Q4 2016-17
Lean Methodology Implementation (Key Processes and Support Functions) Q3 2012-13 to Q4 2016-17
Quality Management System Develop Quality Management Framework Q4 2012-13 to Q4 2013-14
Implement Quality Management System Q4 2013-14 to Q4 2016-17