Practice Notice on Special Characters

The Patent Office wishes to clarify its practice with regards to special characters and how they are entered in our database. Special characters are those beyond the standard 26 letter Roman alphabet, numerals 0 to 9 and the following characters: & (ampersand),  (degree) and % (percentage). Characters beyond those listed above, such as letters with accents (é, è, ö, etc.) and most Greek characters are considered special characters for the purpose of this Practice Notice.

Due to technical limitations of our current database, some special characters cannot be entered in the database, nor can they be reliably reproduced in the Canadian Patents Database.

Consequently all special characters appearing in names, titles or any other information that is transcribed into our database will be entered into our database according to the Special Character Conversion Table presented below. The converted characters will subsequently appear in bibliographic information in the Canadian Patents Database and in all correspondence originating from the Office.

Characters appearing in documents that are not transcribed into the database are not affected by this technical limitation as these documents are stored only as images in our database.

Characters appearing on the Cover Page are not affected by this technical limitation. This will result in special characters appearing on the Cover Page but not on other documents produced by the Office.

If you have any questions, we invite you to communicate with the Client Service Centre at or at 1-866-997-1936.

Special Characters Conversion Table
Special Characters Conversion Table Will be Entered as
æ, Æ A
ä, Ä A
â, Â A
á, Á A
á, À A
å, Å A
ß SS
ç, Ç C
é, É E
è, È E
ê,Ê E
ë, Ë E
ï, Ï I
î, Î I
í, Í I
ì, Ì I
ñ, Ñ N
œ, Œ O
ø, Ø O
ö, Ö O
ô, Ô O
ù, Ù U
ü, Ü U
û, Û U
ÿ, Ÿ Y
«» `` ``
Greek alphabet - special character conversion
Special Character (Greek Alphabet) Will be Entered as
Α, α .ALPHA.
Β, β .BETA.
Γ, γ .GAMMA.
Δ, δ .DELTA.
Ζ, ζ .ZETA.
Η, η .ETA.
Θ, θ .THETA.
Ι, ι .IOTA.
Κ, κ .KAPPA.
Λ, λ .LAMDA.
Μ, μ .MU.
Ν, ν .NU.
Ξ, ξ .XI.
Π, π .PI.
Ρ, ρ .RHO.
Σ, σ, ς .SIGMA.
Τ, τ .TAU.
Φ, φ .PHI.
Χ, χ .CHI.
Ψ, ψ .PSI.
Ω, ω .OMEGA.