Consultation on substantive patent law harmonization issues

Current status: Closed

This consultation closed on


CIPO is committed to achieving a high standard of accessibility as defined in the Standard on Web Accessibility and the Standard on Optimizing Websites and Applications for Mobile Devices. In the event of difficulty using this page, please contact us for assistance or to obtain alternative formats.

About the consultation

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and the Strategic Innovation Policy Sector (SIPS) of Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada are holding a consultation on the international harmonization of certain aspects of patent law. The focus of the consultation is on ideas for harmonization developed by private industry groups and professional IP associations.

Note: the ideas expressed by private industry groups and professional IP associations in this consultation are their views alone and are not endorsed by the Government of Canada.


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has been host to patent law harmonization talks for over 35 years. In 2005 WIPO established Group B+ to promote and facilitate progress on harmonization of substantive patent law. These discussions led to the creation of a B+ Sub-Group in 2014 to further advance work on select topics.

Distinct workstreams within B+ Sub-Group were established to explore:

  • non-prejudicial disclosures/grace period (including relationship with third party rights);
  • publication of applications;
  • conflicting applications;
  • prior user rights; and
  • prior art.

In parallel, several industry groups and professional IP associations have been developing their ideas in relation to the above topics.

Over the past several years, AIPPI (International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property) and FICPI (International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys) have drafted various position papers on these topics.

In 2021, the Industry Trilateral (IT3), a group comprised of industry and IP representatives from the US, European Union and Japan, published their Draft Industry Trilateral Elements Paper dated September 7, 2020.

The Group B+ met in October 2021. At that meeting member countries agreed to temporarily suspend discussion on substantive patent law harmonization in order to provide an opportunity for individual members to hold domestic consultations on these issues.


As a member of the Group B+, CIPO is holding a public consultation with Canadian stakeholders to solicit views on the ideas for harmonization developed by private industry groups and professional IP associations. CIPO would also like to better understand Canadian stakeholder viewpoints on the topics.The target audience for this consultation includes the patent professional community, persons or organizations involved in innovation, and the Canadian public.

Consultation documents

Reference documents:

Consultation summary report

To summarize the feedback, CIPO has prepared a summary report of the 41 questionnaire responses and 1 written submission received during the consultation.

Comments received during the consultation

  • IPIC (PDF: 282 KB; 9 pages)

Contact us

If you have any questions regarding this consultation or require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook for the latest developments.

We thank you for your time and interest.