The IP Canada Report 2021 is the sixth report in an annual series that presents trends and research in IP usage, both in Canada and by Canadians. The first 4 sections of this report present the trends on applications for patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and plant breeders' rights, respectively. Plant breeders' rights protect new varieties of plants in a similar fashion to patents and are administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).Footnote ii CIPO provides the data related to the IP activity in Canada in 2020 on the IP rights that it administers,Footnote iii while CFIA is responsible for the data on plant breeder's rights. International data are obtained from WIPO's Statistics Data Center.Footnote iv International data lag domestic data by 1 year because of the time needed to compile data across all WIPO members; accordingly, in this report, data for filings outside of Canada are available only up to 2019.
Canadians recognize the importance of IP to economic prosperity. Canada ranked 16th in WIPO's 2021 Global Innovation Index. However, its innovation input rank (8th) substantially exceeded the innovation output rank (23rd).Footnote v IP rights, like patents, trademarks, and industrial designs, are key in a country's innovation output. Enhancing Canadians' use of IP rights both domestically and abroad is critical for success in an economy increasingly driven by intangible assets.
The long-term trends for IP filings in Canada have shown a high degree of resilience since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Patent filings have experienced a 5% decrease in 2020, after 3 consecutive years of growth. On the other hand, trademarks and industrial designs have observed an increase despite the economic effects of the crisis, with trademarks increasing 2% for a seventh year in a row and industrial designs experiencing a 20% increase, the highest rate since 2010. Plant breeders' rights saw a 9% decrease in 2020, following a 12% increase in the previous year.
Also presented in this report is descriptive research using recently available data from the Survey of Intellectual Property Awareness and Use (IPAU Survey). The findings shed
light on how IP relates to firm-level outcomes such as innovation, international expansion, and high growth. Last, a summary of an ongoing IP analytics study explores global trends in SEP inventions, highlighting an uptick in patented inventions that protect the owners against infringement of a particular technological standard.
CIPO also administers 4 other forms of IP that are not included in this report: copyrights, integrated circuit topographies, official marks, and geographical indications. A copyright does not need to be registered to be enforceable in Canada,Footnote vi so formal data do not fully encompass its usage. Integrated circuit topographies refer to the 3-dimensional configurations of electronic circuits embodied in integrated circuit products or layout designs and are not included because of a lack of readily accessible data on domestic and international activity.Footnote vii Official marks are protected under the Trademarks Act and include any badge, crest, emblem, or mark adopted and used by any public authority in Canada.Footnote viii A geographical indication can identify a wine, a spirit, or an agricultural product or food of a category set out in the Trademarks Act. CIPO is responsible for processing requests for protection of geographical indications and ensuring that they are entered on the list of protected geographical indications maintained by the Registrar.