IP Canada Report 2021

The 2021 edition of the IP Canada Report presents trends in IP filings in Canada and abroad by Canadians. In the year of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, patent activity in Canada exhibited a downward trend, decreasing 5% compared with 2% over the last decade; however, resident filings showed positive growth in 2020, increasing by 5%. Also in 2020 and despite the effect of the pandemic, trademark applications filed with CIPO saw a 2% increase, although in this case, the growth was driven by non-residents (notably residents of China), who filed 45% of their applications using the Madrid system. Over the last decade, trademark applications at CIPO grew 44%. In 2020, the number of industrial designs filed in Canada (either directly at CIPO or through the Hague system) increased 20%. Applicant use of the Hague system went from 20% to 37% in only 1 year. Finally, plant breeders' rights applications decreased 9% in 2020, driven by a reduction in non-resident activity.

IP activity abroad by Canadians showed an increase in 2019, with patents, trademarks, and industrial designs growing 1%, 8%, and 10%, respectively. Between 2010 and 2019, patent activity abroad by Canadians observed a 3% increase, while industrial designs increased 21% and trademarks increased 117%.

This year, the report featured a summary of internal research carried out at CIPO using new data from the IPAU Survey. Based on an innovation path approach, results from a descriptive analysis reveal the weight of awareness and use of IP in the innovation path among innovators, R&D investors, exporters, and high-growth firms. The IP Canada Report concludes by presenting preliminary findings from an ongoing IP analytics project that aims to explore the evolution of standard-essential patent inventions in Canada and internationally.

Similar to last year, the findings in the IP Canada Report 2021 highlight the changes in Canadian IP activity that followed the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reveal that Canadian businesses and inventors are resilient, have an ability to adapt to a crisis, and help maintain Canada as a key player on the global scene.