IP Village: IP resources for your business

To help Canadian businesses better understand how to use intellectual property (IP) more effectively, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS), Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC) and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) have established a collaboration called the IP Village.

On this page

How we can help support you with your IP

Learn about IP

Your IP journey starts with awareness and education. CIPO, along with its partners, is here to help! Browse through our various tools and resources to learn about IP rights, develop a plan to use your IP and grow your business.

Canadian Intellectual Property Office

Online tools and resources

Learn more about IP and how it works by browsing through CIPO's online educational material such as fact sheets, roadmaps, guides, e-learning modules and podcasts.

IP advisors

Find an IP advisor who can explain the strategic value of your IP and offer information and guidance as you develop an IP strategy for your business.

Client Service Centre

Talk to an information officer to learn about the application process and get answers to basic IP questions.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

ElevateIP – IP awareness (Level 1) Funding

ElevateIP is a 4-year, $90-million program launched in 2022 that helps business accelerators and incubators provide the tools Canadian start-ups need to understand, strategically manage and leverage their IP. This investment provides Canadian start-ups with IP programming in 3 important areas: IP education and awareness, the development of IP strategies and the implementation of IP strategies.

IP awareness: Increasing IP awareness and educational opportunities for start-ups through activities such as workshops, programs, conferences and peer-to-peer learning opportunities, so they have the foundational IP knowledge required to succeed.

National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program

NRC IRAP is Canada's leading innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

IP Assist – IP awareness (Level 1) Funding

IP Assist supports NRC IRAP client firms to more effectively leverage their IP by providing a continuum of targeted IP support services to help them transform innovations into valuable assets, support their commercial goals and gain a sustainable competitive advantage by strategically leveraging their IP across 3 different levels.

IP awareness (Level 1) provides your business with access to a network of advisors, resources and partner organizations, so you can increase your knowledge of IP best practices and better understand how to leverage and safeguard your innovations.

If you're an NRC IRAP client, reach out to your industrial technology advisor for more information about IP Assist. If you're an innovative Canadian company that isn't yet working with NRC IRAP, visit the Support for technology innovation page to learn more about NRC IRAP and IP Assist.

Create your IP strategy

An IP strategy is a plan that will define how you will use your IP to reach your business goals.

Access government programs and financing available to help you develop and implement your IP strategy.

Learn about IP

To understand the main steps to build an IP strategy, visit CIPO's Build an intellectual property strategy page.

ISED

ElevateIP – Developing IP strategies Funding

ElevateIP helps business accelerators and incubators provide the tools Canadian start-ups need to understand, strategically manage and leverage their IP.

Developing IP strategies: Providing start-ups with the tools, talent and supports to manage and make the most of their IP assets. An effective IP strategy is the first step in giving start-ups a roadmap to developing and utilizing their IP assets in a strategic manner and setting the stage for longer term success.

To learn more about the IP offerings in your region, connect with the selected organization near you:

NRC IRAP

If you operate an innovative Canadian SME, NRC IRAP can help you build your innovation capacity and take your ideas to market through financial assistance, advisory services and connections to the best business and research and development (R&D) expertise in Canada.

IP Assist – IP strategy (Level 2) Funding

IP Assist supports NRC IRAP client firms to more effectively leverage their IP by providing a continuum of targeted IP support services.

IP strategy (Level 2): Provides you with access to IP experts who can assist you in developing an IP strategy to support your business goals, help you prioritize IP actions as well as provide you with valuable insight related to your technology, competitors and the IP landscape.

Trade Commissioner Service

If expanding to new markets abroad is part of your growth strategy, the TCS can help fund your international IP strategy.

CanExport Funding

Get financial support to connect with IP professional services from a consultant and/or legal firm. CanExport may cover expenses relating to the development of an international IP strategy, database searching, drafting of formal IP documentation and filing of IP documentation.

IP professionals

An IP professional can help you identify and file your IP, develop a strategy and make a budget to protect and enforce your IP in Canada and around the world. They can also advise you on the proper use of IP to maintain rights, marking, licensing, assignment and other strategies to maximize the value of your IP. When selecting an IP professional to help you file for IP rights, make sure they are a registered IP agent that is qualified to act on your behalf.

Learn about IP

To learn more, check out CIPO's Hiring an intellectual property professional fact sheet.

Intellectual Property Institute of Canada

IPIC is a non-government organization and the professional association of patent agents, trademark agents and lawyers practicing in all areas of IP law. IPIC has partnered with NRC IRAP's IP Assist and ISED's ElevateIP to offer IP expertise.

College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents

CPATA is the independent public interest regulator of patent agents and trademark agents in Canada. To find a registered patent or trademark agent to help you with your IP, visit the CPATA public registry.

Apply for IP rights

As you generate IP in your business, you might want to seek formal protection for a new product, brand name, logo, invention or design. It's important to know that IP rights are territorial. You need to protect your IP in the markets where you plan to do business in Canada and abroad.

Here are programs and supports you should know about when applying for IP rights:

Learn about IP

To learn more about how to protect new ideas and get new IP rights in Canada, visit CIPO's Manage your intellectual property page.

CIPO

CIPO is Canada's IP office where you file your application to get IP rights such as patents, copyrights, trademarks and industrial designs. To find where and how to get IP rights, visit CIPO's Get new intellectual property rights in Canada page.

ISED

ElevateIP – Implementing IP strategies Funding

ElevateIP helps business accelerators and incubators (BAIs) provide the tools Canadian start-ups need to understand, strategically manage and leverage their IP.

Implementing IP strategies: ElevateIP is helping start-ups to execute their IP strategies by providing financial assistance to BAIs who then provide support to start-ups, through activities including IP landscape analysis and covering some of the costs related to the formal protection of IP.

NRC IRAP

IP Assist – IP action (Level 3) Funding

IP Assist supports NRC IRAP client firms to more effectively leverage their IP by providing a continuum of targeted IP support services.

IP action (Level 3): Provides funding to help your business execute the actions prioritized in your IP strategy.

Are you looking to expand your business into new international markets? You should consider obtaining IP protection in the countries where you plan on doing business, including selling products over the internet, licensing your IP rights to foreign businesses and/or manufacturing products overseas.

Trade Commissioner Service

CanExport Funding

Get financial support to connect with potential foreign partners and pursue new business opportunities abroad. CanExport may cover expenses relating to IP protection such as IP advisory or filing costs in foreign markets.

Enforcement

Simply owning IP is often not enough to stop other people from using it without your permission. While CIPO grants IP rights such as trademarks, patents, industrial designs and copyright, it does not police granted IP rights or monitor the marketplace for potential infringement. Solving conflicts involving IP rights is often complex, so it is recommended to seek the help of an IP professional such as an IP agent or lawyer, before enforcing your IP rights.

Learn about IP

Visit CIPO's Stopping intellectual property infringement page to better understand IP infringement, strategies to use and how to prepare to enforce your IP rights.

IP professionals

An IP professional has extensive expertise in IP and can help you determine which enforcement strategy is best for you.

Commercialization and scaling your business

If your idea is commercially viable and you have the IP rights you need to enter the market in Canada and abroad, it is time to assess the opportunities and decide how to take your idea to the market. You should also strongly consider getting help from an IP professional as they are often involved in advising clients on commercialization opportunities.

Learn about IP

To learn more about ways to commercialize your idea, visit CIPO's Intellectual property in the marketplace page.

Business Development Bank of Canada

The BDC is the financial institution devoted to Canadian entrepreneurs. It offers Canadian businesses financing, advisory services and capital, with a focus on SMEs in Canada and abroad.

IP-backed funding Funding

Learn about the BDC's IP-backed financing solution to support the commercialization and expansion of your IP. Under BDC Capital, the $160-million Intellectual Property-Backed Financing Fund (IPBF) is dedicated to help commercialized Canadian companies with strong IP, providing customized, patient capital in the form of debt, quasi-equity and equity. The IPBF use of funds include working capital, expansion of business, acquisition and IP development.

BDC experts deliver funding and guidance to strong, well-managed commercialized companies with sound IP strategies:

  • Stable and growing revenues of at least $5 million
  • Ownership or license of patents, trademarks, trade secrets, proprietary software, data and copyright
  • Ambition and plans to be a global player

NRC IRAP

If you operate an innovative Canadian SME, NRC IRAP can help you build your innovation capacity and take your ideas to market through financial assistance, advisory services and connections to the best business and R&D expertise in Canada.

Industrial technology advisors Funding

NRC IRAP industrial technology advisors offer technical and business advice, referrals and other services to support your innovation project from concept to commercialization. Visit the website to find out if your business is eligible for NRC IRAP support.

If you're an NRC IRAP client, reach out to your industrial technology advisor for more information about IP Assist. If you're an innovative Canadian company that isn't yet working with NRC IRAP, visit the Support for technology innovation page to learn more about NRC IRAP and IP Assist.

Are you thinking of expanding your business to international markets? It is important to know that each country has its own set of IP laws and practices.

Learn about IP

To learn more about applying for IP abroad, visit CIPO's Protect IP outside Canada page.

Trade Commissioner Service

The TSC helps Canadian businesses of all sizes succeed in international markets with export advisory services, funding and accelerator programs. With a presence in more than 160 cities worldwide, the TCS can help you go global.

CanExport Funding

Get financial support from CanExport to connect with potential foreign partners and pursue new business opportunities abroad.

  • CanExport Innovation: Innovators from Canadian organizations may access up to $75,000 in funding to assist with R&D for a single technology. The program can cover up to 75% of costs to help innovators pursue and sign collaborative R&D agreements with international partners.
  • CanExport SMEs: SMEs may access up to $50,000 in funding to assist with international market development activities. The program covers up to 50% of costs for export marketing of your products and services in international markets where you have little or no sales.

Additional tools and resources

  • ISED's ExploreIP: Canada's IP Marketplace
    • An online tool that allows businesses to explore IP licensing and collaboration opportunities with government, academia and other public sector institutions.
  • ISED's Business Benefits Finder
    • This tool can help you find the benefits and services that your business may be eligible for. Fill out the questions for a tailored list of programs and services, from funding to advice, everything you need in one place.
  • IP clinics
    • Established legal clinics within selected Canadian law and business schools. Through these clinics, businesses can get free or low-cost access to basic IP training and advisory services while fostering the development of future IP experts by increasing university students' exposure to IP issues.

IP Village events and initiatives

  • Follow us on LinkedIn to get trusted IP tools and resources each week.
  • IP Talks – YouTube
    • A series of webinars designed to help you easily understand IP, its benefits and what it can offer your business. You will find sessions on protecting your IP, using IP in business, IP funding and supports, IP and doing business abroad and defending your IP rights.
  • IP Insights – YouTube
    • A series of webinars designed to assist entrepreneurs, innovators and SMEs understand IP within their respective industries. Expert panelists with backgrounds in legal, regulatory, industry and funding share their lessons learned, highlight the key challenges, discuss the unwritten rules and provide tips to avoid common mistakes.