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Patent Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-4)

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Act current to 2019-07-01 and last amended on 2018-12-13. Previous Versions

Patent Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. P-4

An Act respecting patents of invention

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Patent Act.

  • R.S., c. P-4, s. 1


Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act, except as otherwise provided,


applicant includes an inventor and the legal representatives of an applicant or inventor; (demandeur)

certificate of supplementary protection

certificate of supplementary protection means a certificate issued by the Minister of Health under section 113; (certificat de protection supplémentaire)

claim date

claim date means the date of a claim in an application for a patent in Canada, as determined in accordance with section 28.1;


Commissioner means the Commissioner of Patents; (commissaire)


country includes a WTO Member, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the World Trade Organization Agreement Implementation Act; (pays)

filing date

filing date means, in relation to an application for a patent in Canada, the date on which the application is filed, as determined in accordance with section 28; (date de dépôt)


holder means, with respect to a certificate of supplementary protection, the person for the time being that is entitled to the benefit of the certificate; (titulaire)


invention means any new and useful art, process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement in any art, process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter; (invention)

legal representatives

legal representatives includes heirs, executors, administrators of the estate, liquidators of the succession, guardians, curators, tutors, transferees and all other persons claiming through applicants for patents and patentees of inventions or through holders of certificates of supplementary protection; (représentants légaux)


Minister means the Minister of Industry or such other member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as is designated by the Governor in Council as the Minister for the purposes of this Act; (ministre)


patent means letters patent for an invention; (brevet)


patentee means the person for the time being entitled to the benefit of a patent; (breveté ou titulaire d’un brevet)

predecessor in title

predecessor in title includes any person through whom an applicant for a patent in Canada claims the right to the patent; (prédécesseur en droit)


prescribed means prescribed by rules or regulations of the Governor in Council and, in the case of a fee, includes a fee determined in the manner prescribed; (réglementaire)

prescribed fee

prescribed fee[Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 33 (3rd Supp.), s. 1]

priority date

priority date[Repealed, 1993, c. 15, s. 26]


regulation includes a rule or form; (règlement)


regulation and rule[Repealed, 2017, c. 6, s. 32]

request for priority

request for priority means a request under section 28.4; (demande de priorité)


rule includes a regulation or form. (règle)

work on a commercial scale

work on a commercial scale[Repealed, 1993, c. 44, s. 189]

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-4, s. 2
  • R.S., 1985, c. 33 (3rd Supp.), s. 1
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 145(F)
  • 1993, c. 2, s. 2, c. 15, s. 26, c. 44, s. 189
  • 1994, c. 47, s. 141
  • 1995, c. 1, s. 62
  • 2017, c. 6, s. 32

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

  • 1993, c. 44, s. 190

Patent Office and Officers

Marginal note:Patent Office

 There shall be attached to the Department of Industry, or to such other department of the Government of Canada as may be determined by the Governor in Council, an office called the Patent Office.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-4, s. 3
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 145(F)
  • 1995, c. 1, s. 63

Marginal note:Commissioner of Patents

  •  (1) The Governor in Council may appoint a Commissioner of Patents who shall, under the direction of the Minister, exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred and imposed on that officer by or pursuant to this Act.

  • Marginal note:Duties of Commissioner

    (2) The Commissioner shall receive all applications, fees, papers, documents and models for patents, shall perform and do all acts and things requisite for the granting and issuing of patents of invention, shall have the charge and custody of the books, records, papers, models, machines and other things belonging to the Patent Office and shall have, for the purposes of this Act, all the powers that are or may be given by the Inquiries Act to a commissioner appointed under Part II of that Act.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of office and salary

    (3) The Commissioner holds office during pleasure and shall be paid such annual salary as may be determined by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Delegation

    (4) The Commissioner may, after consultation with the Minister, delegate to any person he deems qualified any of his powers, duties and functions under this Act, except the power to delegate under this subsection.

  • Marginal note:Appeal

    (5) Any decision under this Act of a person authorized to make the decision pursuant to subsection (4) may be appealed in the like manner and subject to the like conditions as a decision of the Commissioner under this Act.

  • R.S., c. P-4, s. 4
  • 1984, c. 40, s. 57

Marginal note:Assistant Commissioner

  •  (1) An Assistant Commissioner of Patents may be appointed in the manner authorized by law and shall be a technical officer experienced in the administration of the Patent Office.

  • Marginal note:Absence or inability to act

    (2) When the Commissioner is absent or unable to act, the Assistant Commissioner, or, if he also is at the same time absent or unable to act, another officer designated by the Minister, may exercise the powers and shall perform the duties of the Commissioner.

  • R.S., c. P-4, s. 5

Marginal note:Staff

 There may be appointed in the manner authorized by law such principal examiners, examiners, associate examiners and assistant examiners, clerks, stenographers and other assistants as are necessary for the administration of this Act.

  • R.S., c. P-4, s. 6

Marginal note:Officers of Patent Office not to deal in patents, etc.

  •  (1) No officer or employee of the Patent Office shall buy, sell, acquire or traffic in any invention, patent, right to a patent, certificate of supplementary protection or right to such a certificate, or any interest in any of them, and every purchase, sale, acquisition or transfer of any of them, or of any interest in any of them, made by or to such an officer or employee is void or, in Quebec, null.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a sale by an original inventor or to an acquisition under the last will, or by the intestacy, of a deceased person.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-4, s. 7
  • 2017, c. 6, s. 33

Marginal note:Clerical errors

 Clerical errors in any instrument of record in the Patent Office do not invalidate the instrument, but they may be corrected under the authority of the Commissioner.

  • R.S., 1985, c. P-4, s. 8
  • 1993, c. 15, s. 27
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