Frequently asked questions about CIPO's login procedures

The safeguarding of clients' information online is a priority for the Government of Canada. Accordingly, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is continuing to improve its online services to better protect your account information.

The login process includes:

  • signing in with either GCKey or Interac® sign-in service (Sign-In Partner) credentials
  • linking your sign-in credentials to a new or existing My Canada Business AccountFootnote *
  • selecting a 2-step verification, an enhanced security measure to better protect personal and business information

On this page

General information on login credentials

1. Q: What is GCKey?

A: GCKey is an official electronic credential issued by the Government of Canada that allows clients to communicate securely with online enabled government programs and services.

2. Q: Why has the Government of Canada introduced GCKey?

A: The Government of Canada has created GCKey to remove the complexity and challenges of managing multiple username/password combinations in accessing federal programs and services. With GCKey, clients will only have to remember 1 username and password to connect to all federal government programs and services.

3. Q: Can I use the same GCKey used at CIPO to access other federal programs and services?

A: Yes. For more information, please review the list of enabled services.

4. Q: Who has access to the information that I submit when I register for a GCKey?

A: The GCKey service does not share your registration information with any third party. The information you provide is held by the Government of Canada and is protected under the Federal Privacy Act.

5. Q: What is Interac® sign-in service (Sign-In Partner)?

A: Interac® sign-in service, also referred to as Sign-In Partner, is a credential broker service that acts as a bridge between the Government of Canada and participating service providers (Sign-In Partners) to help verify a client's digital identity. This service allows you to sign in using your Canadian online banking information.

Interac® sign-in service was formerly known as Government Sign-In by Verified.Me. The change in branding took effect on . For you, nothing changes. You can continue to sign in with the same financial institution credentials.

6. Q: What are the advantages of using my financial partner credentials?

A: Your online banking credentials may be easy to remember if you use them on a regular basis.

It may also be convenient to access Government of Canada services without needing to create a new username and password.

7. Q: Is any of my banking information shared if I use a financial partner?

A: No. Your personal information, such as name, address, etc. is not shared when you use a financial partner. None of your banking or personally identifiable information is communicated to the government service you are accessing. In addition, the Government of Canada does not know which financial partner you have used. Similarly, no information about the government service being accessed by the user is shared with the user's financial partner.

8. Q: The financial institution I do business with is not on the list of financial partners. What alternative do I have to access government services online?

A: Individuals who do not have a credential (e.g. username and password) with one of the financial partners can use the government-issued credential, GCKey.

9. Q: My financial partner knows who I am, why do I still have to provide my basic identity information to enroll in a Government of Canada service?

A: The financial partner does not provide any identity information to the Government and simply validates your user name or card number and password. Each government service requires your personal information based on their specific needs and to determine eligibility or entitlement.

10. Q: I'm already enrolled with another Government of Canada online service. Why do I have to provide my basic information again?

A: Each government service or program requests your personal information based on their specific requirements and to determine eligibility or entitlement. The Government of Canada must adhere to the Privacy Act, which restricts the information that can be shared between departments and agencies.

Accessing CIPO online services

1. Q: How do I setup my login with CIPO?

A: You must first choose a secure login provider (GCKey or Sign-In Partner) to access CIPO online services.

GCKey: If you choose GCKey, enter your GCKey username and password. If you do not have an account, you must create one by providing a username, password, password recovery questions and recovery email address.

Interac® sign-in service (Sign-In Partner): If you choose Sign-In Partner, you will be directed to the Interac® sign-in service website where you will sign in using your online banking credentials. Your Sign-In Partner will not know which government service you are using. None of your information (for example, financial or banking) will be shared with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) or CIPO.

Once you've set up your login provider, you must create a My Canada Business Account. You will be asked to enter your personal information, including:

  • first and last name
  • email address
  • phone number
  • a unique CIPO username of your choice

A confirmation email will be sent to you. You must click on the link in the email to validate your email address.

Once your My Canada Business Account is created, you will be directed to set up your 2-step verification. For more information, please review our 2-step verification information page.

Finally, you will be directed to your selected CIPO online service. You may then be prompted to provide any missing information associated with your account profile. This should complete your registration process.

2. Q: Can I use both GCKey and Sign-In Partner?

A: You have the ability to choose the secure login partner you would like to link to your account, whether that is GCKey or Interac® sign-in service (Sign-In Partner). You are able to change the secure login provider method (GCKey or Sign-In Partner) at any time.

However to avoid technical issues, it is recommended that you use the same login provider each time.

3. Q: What is My Canada Business Account?

A: My Canada Business Account provides a secure, single digital window allowing easy access to relevant government programs and services to assist businesses in quickly finding the information they need the most without the need to browse through multiple federal and provincial websites.

You can update your online profile with CIPO, centrally access and discover programs and services offered within the ISED department portfolio and manage your security settings.

4. Q: How do I link my secure login provider credential to my existing online client profile with CIPO?

A: You can link your existing account with either GCKey or Interac® sign-in service (Sign-In Partner). You must first select your sign-in method of your choice. Once you have signed in to your secure login provider, the next step is to link your My Canada Business Account (formerly known as My ISED Account).

To complete the linking of accounts, you will be asked to enter your personal information, including:

  • first and last name
  • email address (see Note on email addresses below)
  • phone number

The system will then identify that there is an existing account linked to the email address and will ask if you would like to recover the existing account. Select this option.

Note on email addresses

  1. It is important to include the email address that is connected with your CIPO online account. Not entering this email address may prevent you from recovering your existing account.
  2. Each account must have a unique email address. If multiple accounts share an email address, they will not be able to link the account to the secure login provider.

To finalize the linking of your secure login credential and the creation of your My Canada Business Account, you will need to verify that you have access to the email address you provided above. Visit your inbox and follow the instructions that were sent to you in our system-generated email.

Note that your CIPO username will automatically be assigned if you have an existing ISED account. It will be identical to your former My ISED Account username.

5. Q: Why do I need a CIPO username?

A: The CIPO username is required to enable our back-office systems to work with our new identity management system and display the correct information to verified clients.

6. Q: How do I recover my credentials?

Below are the instructions on how to recover your credentials.

  1. GCKey
    • Choose the online service that you require.  (This will lead you to the login page of this online service).
    • Select GCKey
      • If you forgot your username, click on the button "Forgot your username?" and enter the email address associated with your account.  An email will be sent to you with your username. 
      • If you forgot your password, click on the button "Forgot your password?"
        Note: If you have forgotten your password, our security measures do not allow us to recover the password for you. You can create a new password by correctly answering your password recovery questions.
  2. Sign-In Partner
    • Choose the online service that you require.  (This will lead you to the login page of this online service).
    • Select Sign-In Partner
    • Select the sign-in partner that you used before and look for their help section or their FAQs on how to recover credential information. The process differs from one banking institution to another.

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