12 days of CIPO: IP tips from our home to yours

In celebration of the holiday season, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) ran a social media campaign entitled "12 days of CIPO."

If you missed it, we encourage you to check out these 12 intellectual property (IP) tips, tools and resources. They can all help your business move forward on its IP journey.

Happy holidays from CIPO!

Tip 1 – Search our IP databases for existing IP

Browse our intellectual property (IP) databases for existing IP to learn if your innovation is unique or novel before investing your time and money on something that already exists.

Tip 2 – Build your IP strategy

IP rights are assets. So, how will you use them to achieve your business goals? Follow our simple steps to build your intellectual property strategy.

Tip 3 – Register your IP

It's important to protect your ideas from theft as you build and expand your business. Learn how to register your IP across Canada.

Tip 4 – Take your ideas from concept to commercialization!

Assess the monetary value of your IP and determine which commercialization model is most effective for your business. Learn how you can turn your ideas into money with our online learning module.

Tip 5 – Protect your brand

To protect your brand across Canada, learn how to register your IP (e.g. logo, name, slogans) as trademarks. You can also consider using a licence agreement when working with third parties.

Tip 6 – Assess digital IP risks and stay cyber smart

Your digital IP assets are as valuable as your physical ones, and vulnerable to cyber attacks if not protected properly. Check out episode 14 of our Canadian IP Voices podcast and learn how to safeguard your intangible assets.

Tip 7 – Define IP ownership

The creation of IP is often a collaborative process, and defining who owns it can sometimes be a challenge. Make sure to be aware of any assignment clauses in contracts with partners, employees or third parties before disclosing or creating new IP. These clauses detail which of a party's obligations or rights under the contract can be assigned or transferred to another party.

Learn more about good practices to define IP ownership.

Tip 8 – Obtain permission to play music you don't own

Songs can have multiple rightsholders who must be compensated in order for you to use their music. The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada administers licences for performing and reproducing live and recorded music, and helps ensure musicians and performers are compensated. Learn more about music copyright in episode 11 of our Canadian IP Voices podcast.

Tip 9 – Protect your design

To help protect the unique look of your product, you can register an industrial design. Not sure whether to register a industrial design or a patent? Consult CIPO's website!

Tip 10 – Protect your IP as it's generated

Retain new IP as it's generated by using methods such as invention disclosures, confidentiality agreements, trade secrets and copyright. Learn more about how to protect your new ideas and creations.

Tip 11 – Make your patent easy to understand

Make sure to have an accurate illustration to go along with your patent to help others understand the functionality or purpose of your invention or design.

Find out more about the patent illustration process.

Tip 12 – Protect your IP abroad

Exporting your products and services to international markets can be a great way to grow your business. Learn what steps to take to protect your IP outside Canada before doing business abroad.

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