Filing an international application
Taking your business around the world? You may want to seek international intellectual property (IP) protection for your creation. Consider filing one application through the international systems.
Learn how the various systems of international protection work and how you can file your single application to take your creations abroad.
International protection – general information
Rather than filing national applications in many languages, you can, thanks to the systems of international protection, file a single application in one language and pay one application fee.
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) – Canada is joining five international IP treaties
- CIPO – International IP treaties: benefits for business
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – International Protection
Patents – Patent Cooperation Treaty
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international treaty administered by WIPO. By filing an international patent application under the PCT, you can seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries.
- CIPO – Patent Cooperation Treaty Kit
- European Patent Office – Guide for applicants: PCT procedure before the EPO (Euro-PCT Guide)
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – Patent Cooperation Treaty
- WIPO – International Patent System
- WIPO – PCT FAQ (PDF)
Trademarks – Madrid Protocol
The Madrid Protocol is an international registration system that offers the possibility of obtaining protection for trademarks in a number of countries through a single international application filed with the International Bureau of WIPO.
- European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) – International Registration
- USPTO – Madrid Protocol
- WIPO – International Trademark System
- WIPO – Madrid FAQ
Industrial designs – Hague System
The Hague System provides a mechanism for acquiring, maintaining and managing design rights in multiple countries through a single application filed with WIPO.
- CIPO – Joining the Hague Agreement and Modernizing Canada's Industrial Design Regime
- EUIPO – FAQ on Hague Agreement
- USPTO – Hague Agreement
- WIPO – Hague FAQ
- WIPO – International Design System
Find additional practical tools to help you understand the international protection application process:
- Patents – Patent Cooperation Treaty
- Trademarks – Madrid
- Industrial designs – Hague
Find an expert
Find an expert
These IP experts may help you better understand the international IP filing process:
Canadian Intellectual Property Office
- Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
GAC manages Canada's diplomatic relations, provides consular services to Canadians, promotes the country's international trade and leads Canada's international development and humanitarian assistance.
- Export Development Canada (EDC)
EDC is Canada's export credit agency. Its job is to support and develop Canada's export trade by helping Canadian companies respond to international business opportunities.
- Trade Commissioner Service (TCS)
The TCS helps companies navigate international markets. Canadian trade commissioners are located in more than 160 cities worldwide and can provide you with key business insights and access to an unbeatable network of international contacts.
- Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – International growth advisory services
The BDC's International Growth Program offers a complete solution to help ensure your expansion in the United States or foreign markets.
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – Country profiles
These profiles provide quick access to the information for each country in multiple WIPO databases.
- WIPO – IP Services
WIPO offers a range of global services for protecting IP across borders and for resolving IP disputes outside the courts.
- WIPO – Website