Terms and conditions

Privacy Notice

The Government of Canada and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) (an agency of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) are committed to providing websites that respect the privacy of visitors. This privacy notice summarizes the privacy practices for CIPO's online activities.

All personal information collected by CIPO is governed by the Privacy Act. This means that you will be informed of the purpose for which your personal information is being collected and how to exercise your right of access to that information.

Your Privacy and the Internet

The nature of the Internet is such that web servers automatically collect certain information about a visit to a website, including the visitor's Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP addresses are unique numbers assigned by Internet service providers (ISP) to all devices used to access the Internet. Web servers automatically log the IP addresses of visitors to their sites. The IP address, on its own, does not identify an individual. However, in certain circumstances, such as with the cooperation of an ISP for example, it could be used to identify an individual using the site. For this reason, the Government of Canada considers the IP address to be personal information, particularly when combined with other data automatically collected when a visitor requests a web page, such as the page or pages visited, date and time of the visit.

In cases where services are provided by organizations outside of the Government of Canada, such as social media platforms or mobile applications, IP addresses may be recorded by the web server of the third-party service provider. Unless otherwise noted, CIPO does not automatically gather any specific information from you, such as your name, telephone number or email address. CIPO would obtain this type of information only if you supply it to us, for example, by email or by filling in a contact form. In such cases, how your personal information is handled will be provided in a Personal Information Collection Statement.

Communicating with the Government of Canada

If you choose to send CIPO an email or complete a feedback form online, your personal information is used by CIPO in order to respond to your inquiry. The information you provide will only be shared with another government institution if your inquiry relates to that institution. CIPO does not use the information to create individual profiles nor does it disclose the information to anyone other than to those in the federal government who need to provide you with a response. Any disclosure of your personal information is in accordance with the Privacy Act.

Emails, chat conversations and other electronic methods used to communicate with the Government of Canada are not secure unless it is specifically stated on a web page. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not send sensitive personal information, such as your Social Insurance Number or your date of birth, through non-secure electronic means.

Personal information from emails, phone calls, chat conversations or completed application forms is collected pursuant to the provisions in CIPO's enabling statutes. Such information may be used for quality control, training, statistical, evaluation and reporting purposes and may be included in Personal Information Banks PSU 914—Public Communications, Inventor, Assignee and Patentee Index Cards IC PPU 041 and Intellectual Property Agent Records IC PPU 043.

Improving Your Experience on Government of Canada Websites

Digital Markers (including cookies)

A digital marker is a resource created by the visitor's browser in order to remember certain pieces of information for the web server to reference during the same or subsequent visits to the website. Examples of digital markers are "cookies" or HTML5 web storage. Some examples of what digital markers do are as follows:

  • they allow a website to recognize a previous visit each time the visitor accesses the site;
  • they track what information is viewed on a site, which helps website administrators ensure visitors find what they are looking for.

CIPO uses sessional and/or persistent digital markers on some portions of its website. During your online visit, your browser exchanges data with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's (IC) web server (on CIPO's behalf). The digital markers used do not allow CIPO to identify individuals.

The provision of personal information for communications and information technology web analytics purposes is optional. You may refuse the installation of or delete the digital markers used by our web analytics tools from your device through the settings of your web browser (more information). This will not affect the website's performance or restrict your ability to access information from our website.

Web Analytics

Web analytics is the collection, analysis, measurement and reporting of data about web traffic and visits for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. Information in digital markers may be used for the purpose of web analytics to remember your online interactions with CIPO's website.

CIPO uses WebTrends to improve its website. When your computer requests a CIPO web page, CIPO collects the following types of information for web analytics:

  • the originating IP address
  • the date and time of the request
  • the type of browser used
  • the page(s) visited

CIPO uses WebTrends internally and retains personal information collected for web analytics for a maximum period of 18 months. After this period, the information must be disposed of in accordance with the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics and as authorized by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada. The information is not disclosed to an external third-party service provider.

Information used for the purpose of web analytics is collected pursuant to CIPO's enabling statutes. Such data may be used for communications and information technology statistical purposes, audit, evaluation, research, planning and reporting. For more information on how your privacy is safeguarded in relation to web analytics, see the Standard on Privacy and Web Analytics.

Protecting the Security of Government of Canada Websites

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, on behalf of CIPO, employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise cause damage. This software receives and records the IP address of the computer that has contacted our website, the date and time of the visit and the pages visited. IC/CIPO makes no attempt to link these addresses with the identity of individuals visiting the site unless an attempt to damage the site has been detected.

This information is collected pursuant to section 161 of the Financial Administration Act. The information may be shared with appropriate law enforcement authorities if suspected criminal activities are detected. Such information may be used for network security–related statistical purposes, audit, evaluation, research, planning and reporting and is included in Personal Information Bank PSU 914—Public Communications.

Privacy Inquiry

Any questions, comments, concerns or complaints you may have regarding the administration of the Privacy Act and privacy policies related to CIPO's web presence may be directed to the departmental Privacy Coordinator by email, by telephone or in writing to:

Information and Privacy Rights Administration
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
2nd Floor, West Tower
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H5

Telephone: 343-291-2792
Fax: 343-291-1893
Email: Kimberly Eadie

If you are not satisfied with our response to your privacy concern, you may wish to contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner by email at info@priv.gc.ca or by telephone at 1-800-282-1376.

Providing Content in Our Official Languages

The Official Languages Act, the Official Languages (Communications with and Services to the Public) Regulations and Treasury Board policy requirements establish when we use both English and French to provide services to or communicate with members of the public. When there is no obligation to provide these in both official languages, content may be available in one official language only. Information provided by organizations not subject to the Official Languages Act is in the language(s) provided. Information provided in a language other than English or French is only for the convenience of our visitors.

Linking to Non-Government of Canada Websites

Links to websites not under the control of the Government of Canada, including those to our social media accounts, are provided solely for the convenience of our website visitors. We are not responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the content. CIPO does not offer any guarantee in that regard and is not responsible for the information found through these links, nor does it endorse the sites and their content.

Visitors should also be aware that information offered by non-Government of Canada websites to which this website links is not subject to the Privacy Act or the Official Languages Act and may not be accessible to persons with disabilities. The information offered may be available only in the language(s) used by the sites in question. With respect to privacy, visitors should research the privacy policies of these non-Government of Canada websites before providing personal information.

Ownership and Usage of Content Provided on This Site

Materials on this website were produced and/or compiled by CIPO for the purpose of providing Canadians with access to information about the programs and services offered by the Government of Canada. You may use and reproduce the materials as follows:

Non-Commercial Reproduction

Unless otherwise specified, you may reproduce the materials in whole or in part for non-commercial purposes, and in any format, without charge or further permission, provided you do the following:

  • exercise due diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced;
  • indicate both the complete title of the materials reproduced as well as the author (where available); and
  • indicate that the reproduction is a copy of the version available at [URL where original document is available].

Commercial Reproduction

Unless otherwise specified, you may not reproduce materials on this site, in whole or in part, for the purposes of commercial redistribution without prior written permission from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

To obtain permission to reproduce Government of Canada materials on this site for commercial purposes, Apply for Crown Copyright Clearance or write to:

Communications and Marketing Branch
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H5

Email: ic.info-info.ic@canada.ca

You may also contact us to obtain additional information concerning copyright ownership and restrictions, as some of the content on this site may be subject to the copyright of another party. Where information has been produced or copyright is not held by Government of Canada, the materials are protected under the Copyright Act and international agreements. Details concerning copyright ownership are indicated on the relevant page(s).

Reproduction of Government Symbols

The official symbols of the Government of Canada, including the Canada Wordmark, the Arms of Canada and the flag symbol, may not be reproduced, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes, without prior written authorization. Request for authorization from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat may be addressed to:

Federal Identity Program
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
300 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa ON K1A 0R5

Email: information@fip-pcim.gc.ca

Our Commitment to Accessibility

The Government of Canada is committed to achieving a high standard of accessibility as defined in the Standard on Web Accessibility. In the event of difficulty using our web pages, applications or device-based mobile applications, please contact us for assistance or to obtain alternate formats, such as regular print, Braille or another appropriate format.

Social Media — Interacting with CIPO


CIPO's social media accounts are a great way to interact with the agency and learn about everything from patents to industrial designs. We look forward to sharing information with you beyond the conventional government web experience, but still encourage visits to our website for more detailed information.

The use of social media by CIPO is intended to encourage interaction between the user of this platform and CIPO and in no way verifies or confirms either the accuracy of user comments or their compliance with the guidelines outlined here. CIPO does not endorse any of the views in comments posted by users. Comments in violation of these Terms of Use may result in CIPO blocking the user or removing the content in question.

Your social media participation with CIPO is completely voluntary. Twitter and LinkedIn have their own Terms of Service and policies that describe the limitations to the types of content that can be posted and the consequences of any violations. When you post to these platforms, you are also indicating your understanding and acceptance of their terms and CIPO's own Terms of Use (i.e., this document).


CIPO social media accounts are mainly used as alternative ways to access the material found on CIPO's website. If you are looking for more information about CIPO, please visit the website.

Links to Other Websites

From time to time the CIPO social media accounts may link to websites that are not under the control of CIPO or the Government of Canada. These links are provided solely for the convenience of users. CIPO and the Government of Canada are not responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the content on those sites. Furthermore, CIPO and the Government of Canada do not offer any guarantee in that regard and are not responsible for the information found through these links, nor do they endorse the sites and their content.

Posting Frequency

The number of posts will vary depending on internal and external factors. You should however expect to see online activity during regular working hours, Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST/EDT. Any activity during holidays, after core hours and on weekends would likely be along the lines of emergency or urgent communications of significant value to our followers. Otherwise the accounts will be relatively inactive during these times.


Because a third party manages these platforms, CIPO updates may be subject to downtime that is out of CIPO's control. We accept no responsibility for the networks becoming unresponsive or unavailable.

Following and Connections

At this time CIPO will follow/connect to only other Government of Canada institutions and organizations that we believe are relevant to our mandate. This could include non-profit organizations, associations, other governmental agencies, and stakeholders.

We will take steps to remove or block subscribers if they do not abide by these Terms of Use. Users may also be reported if they do not comply with the service provider's terms of use.

The presence of a CIPO account follow/connection does not imply endorsement of that user.

Sharing Content

CIPO may share material posted by other Government of Canada Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and/or other accounts determined to be relevant to the work CIPO does in fulfilling its mandate. This may include cross-linking, research findings, statistics, relevant events and conferences. It does not necessarily imply endorsement on CIPO's part.

Users may share material posted to the CIPO social media accounts, provided that the content is not changed and proper credit is given.


We welcome feedback and interaction. All contact sent to CIPO's social media accounts will be read. Any emerging themes or helpful suggestions will be sent to the relevant people at CIPO. We may not be able to reply individually to all messages but we will seek to respond to all relevant and appropriate communications.

If we feel a comment or a question posed to CIPO is of significant business value and/or requires a greater level of detail, we may develop a formal response and distribute the information through other channels such as our website.

We will pay attention to emerging themes and helpful suggestions and look forward to this potential interaction.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Media Relations.

Commenting Policy

We welcome your comments and expect that conversations will follow the general rules of respectful discourse. All posted comments are in the public domain and you are fully responsible for everything that you submit in your comments. Please keep your submissions relevant and civil.

CIPO disclaims all liability for information posted to CIPO's social media accounts. Please keep in mind that CIPO cannot tolerate comments that are offensive to an individual or an organization. We do not discriminate against any views but we reserve the right to edit or remove any comments that are:

  • contrary to the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
  • racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting or life-threatening;
  • serious, unproven, unsupported or inaccurate accusations against individuals or organizations;
  • abusive, aggressive, coarse, explicit, vulgar, violent, obscene or pornographic;
  • personal attacks and/or defamatory;
  • meant to encourage or suggest illegal activity;
  • messages that infringe copyright or other intellectual property rights;
  • solicitations, advertisements or endorsements of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency or an attempt to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency;
  • announcements from labour or political organizations;
  • messages written in a language other than English or French;
  • not sent by the author, and/or are posted by anonymous or robot accounts;
  • repetitive posts copied and pasted by multiple users;
  • unintelligible or irrelevant;
  • posted using all CAPS (difficult to read and interpreted as shouting);
  • too far off-topic; and
  • messages that the forum moderators feel will not add to the normal flow of debate.


Third-party service providers are not bound by Government of Canada policies for web accessibility.

The Government of Canada is committed to achieving a high standard of accessibility and is working to address issues with third-party service provider platforms.


Information posted by CIPO is subject to the Copyright Act of Canada.

Official Languages

CIPO respects the Official Languages Act and is committed to ensuring that information products are available and of equal quality in both French and English. CIPO's social media messages are available in both official languages and will be broadcast as close to simultaneously as possible. Due to the nature of social media, content will vary between the English and French, particularly where messages and comments are concerned. Messages that originate from CIPO will be made available in both official languages when it concerns both English and French communities. Responses will be made in the official language of origin.

Users should be aware that some links direct users to sites that are not subject to the Official Languages Act and are available only in the language in which they are written.

To change your social media account user preferences, adjust your account settings accordingly.


CIPO's social media accounts represent our presence on third-party service providers, and are not Government of Canada websites. Users are encouraged to read the Twitter privacy policy and the LinkedIn privacy policy.

CIPO is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. This means that information you share with CIPO's social media accounts may be captured, stored, accessed and disclosed in response to a request under either of these acts.

The personal information provided by you to CIPO's social media accounts is collected under the authority of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) in accordance with the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada. This information is being collected to capture conversations between you and CIPO via our social media accounts. Conversations include questions and answers, comments, likes, retweets and other interactions where you provide feedback on content that we have posted, or when we provide you with information based on content that you post. The personal information collected is described in the Personal Information Banks entitled Public Communications (IC – PSU 914) and Outreach Activities (IC – PSU 938). Under the provisions of the Privacy Act, individuals have the right of access to, correction of and protection of their personal information. Instructions for obtaining your personal information are provided in Info Source: Sources of Federal Government and Employee Information, a copy of which is available in major public and academic libraries or online at Info Source.

Questions and Media Requests

For general enquiries, please visit our Contact us page.

For enquiries regarding our social media accounts, please contact the CIPO Communications team.

For media enquiries, please contact the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Media Relations team.