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Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities in 2017 submitted by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office

I. GENERAL OVERVIEW OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN PATENT INFORMATION ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY THE OFFICE

Outline of main policies and plans aimed at development of patent information activities and expected time frames for their realization

The Manual of Office Practice (MOPOP) is maintained and available to the public.

New projects launched or resumed this year in the context of the policies and plans mentioned above, short description: aims, partners, tasks

As mentioned above CIPO continues to update its Manual of Office Practice (MOPOP). CIPO is also exploring options for modernizing the way in which the manual is delivered to the public online.

Main areas of patent information activities and related information and communication technology (ICT) practices which were in the focus of attention last year

As mentioned above CIPO continues to update its Manual of Office Practice (MOPOP). CIPO is also exploring options for modernizing the way in which the manual is delivered to the public online.

Statistics: changes in terms of application filings and grants with respect to previous year; trends or areas experiencing rapid changes

The following depicts the changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants with respect to the previous years:

Item

2017

2016

2015 

National Filing

7,724  

7,724 

7,589

National Grants

6,095

7,065

6,309 

PCT Filing27,35027,20129,242
PCT Grants18,00319,35915,591


Other matters and useful links (URLs): annual report of the Office, news page, statistics, etc.

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/P-4/index.html

Annual Report of the Office:
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr00025.html#annualreports

Patent-related news regarding the Office:
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr00001.html

Green Technologies
http://www.ic.gc.ca/opic-cipo/cpd/eng/greenTechnologies/green_technologies.html

Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)
https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr02160.html

II. SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES RELATED TO PATENT INFORMATION CARRIED OUT BY THE OFFICE

Information and support provided by the Office to applicants regarding filing on paper and/or e-filing (instructions, seminars, etc.) - URLs

CIPO Website: The Patent Application Process
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr02999.html

CIPO Website: Prepare your Application (Patent):
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr03652.html?Open&wt_src=cipo-patent-main&wt_cxt=apply#preparingPatentApplication

CIPO Website: Tutorial - Your Patent Application:
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr01398.html

CIPO Website: Writing a patent application:
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr01398.html

CIPO Website: Filing Canadian patent applications (e-filing):
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr01477.html

CIPO Website: Filing International PCT applications (e-filing):

CIPO Website: Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) e-filing:

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr01355.html?Open&wt_src=cipo-patent-main


Availability of the application dossier in electronic form

Patent applications laid open to public inspection and granted patents are available to the public through the Canadian Patent Database (CPD):
http://www.ic.gc.ca/opic-cipo/cpd/eng/introduction.html


Classification1, preclassification2 (if applicable), reclassification3 activities; classification systems used (e.g., International Patent Classification (IPC)); matters concerning indexing of patent information

CIPO classifies national and international applications according to the IPC. Currently, CIPO’s preclassification of national and international applications is based on a preliminary classification which is limited to section, class and subclass for the purpose of assigning the file to the appropriate classification examiner's queue.  National files are reclassified following the entry into force of a new version of the IPC.

Abstracting, reviewing, and translation of the information contained in patent documents

The Office translates the titles into French or English depending on the language of the application.  Some translations are retrieved from the PCT import process which uses an XML file received from WIPO.  The Office provides abstracts in both French and English on patents in Good Standing.


Other activities

III. SOURCES OF PATENT INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE OFFICE


Main types of publications of the Office (patent applications, full text, first pages, abstracts, bibliographic data, granted patents, etc.), medium (on paper, on CDs, online - URLs)

Canadian Patent Office Record (Gazette) is published weekly and is available on CIPO's Website. http://patents.ic.gc.ca/opic-cipo/cpor/eng/home.html

MIMOSA CDs for applications open to public inspection and granted patents are prepared weekly and sent to subscribing Patent Offices worldwide.

Text of applications, including abstracts, descriptions and claims of open to public inspection and granted patents are sent weekly via FTP to subscribers of the products. www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/bulk


Official Gazettes: main types of announcements, frequency of publication, medium (on paper, on CDs, online - URL), etc.

Office notices and changes to office procedures are published through the Canadian Patent Office Record (CPOR)

Some of these notices, and many other patent related notices, are published directly on the CIPO Website under the Patent Notices section at the following link:

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr00292.html?Open&wt_src=cipo-patent-main

Information products and patent document collections (coverage, medium, etc.) available to examiners, including external collections and databases

CIPO's internal office TechSource system includes bibliographic data (from 1869-present), text (abstract, claim and description of laid open patent documents from 1978-present) and images of patent documents (from 1869-present).  All these documents are available stored on hard disk technology.

Externally, examiners have access to many publicly available and subscription based databases such as the following list of databases;


Academic Search Complete

AccessMedicine

ACM Digital Library (Association of Computing Machinery)

American Chemical Society (ACS)

American National Biography Online

Aphasiology Archive

Archive of European Integration

BioOne Online Journals

Britannica Online Academic Edition

Business Source Complete

Center for Research Libraries

Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS)

Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard

Directory of Open Access Journals

ECONIS

Econlit

Energy Citations Database Freedonia Focus Reports Government Printing Office Catalog

Forschungsinformationen

Genomequest

Grove Art Online Grove Music Online HeinOnline

Hoover's Company Profiles

HyRead Journal

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Industry Studies Working Papers Informit Business Collection Informit Engineering Collection

IP Watch

Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society (JPTOS)

JSTOR 19th Century British Pamphlets

JSTOR Arts & Sciences I - XI JSTOR Ireland

JSTOR Life Sciences

Lan Publishing

LexisNexis Academic: Law Reviews LexisNexis U.S. Serial Set Digital collection Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts

MEDLINE

Mergent Annual Reports Collection

Minority Health Archive Mintel Oxygen Reports News (AP, UPI, etc.)

Nature

Nature Biotechnology

OAIster

OAPEN Library

Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal

PhilSci Archive PsycARTICLES PsycBOOKS PsycCRITIQUES

Public Information Online

Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File

Questel Orbit

Regional Business News

Reports of Patent, Design and Trade Mark Cases (RPC)

Science and Technical Information Network (STN)

Science Online

ScienceDirect

Scientific American

Scopus

SOFIS - Sozialwissenschaftliche

SOLIS - Sozialwissenschaftliche Literatur SSOAR – Social Science Open Access Repository

STM Source: Scientific, Technical and Medical Source

The Economist

University Press Scholarship Online

USPTO –WEST

Wiley Online Library

World Patent Information

Information products and patent document collections (coverage, medium, etc.) available to external users, conditions of access (e.g., free of charge, subscription, etc.)

CIPO's Website makes available documentation pertaining to applications open to public inspection and granted patents from 1869-present.

Subscriptions to MIMOSA CDs are also available.

The listing of available information products and subscriptions to bulk data, including fee schedule, is available at the following link:
www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/bulk


Legal status information (kind of information, coverage, medium, etc.)

CIPO provides Patent/application information and important dates such as filing and issue dates on its website. Statuses per say are not currently available on the website.

Other sources

Administrative status of applications open to public inspection and granted patents are available as a bulk subscription product.

IV. ICT SUPPORT TO SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES RELATED TO PATENT INFORMATION CARRIED OUT BY THE OFFICE

Specific software tools supporting business procedures within the Office: general description, characteristics, advantages, possible improvements

ool

Internal/External

Technology

Purpose

TechSource

Internal Office Tool

In-house custom DB2 database

Mainframe application to handle National cases).  Supports workflow and storing of patent data. Includes bibliographic data (from 1869-present), text (abstract, claim and description of laid open patent documents from 1978-present) and images of patent documents (from 1920-present).  All these documents are available stored on hard disk technology.


InterApp

Internal Office Tool

C++

An application to process International PCT applications including all RO, ISA and IPEA functionality. The application also imports and exports documents and data directly to and from WIPO via sFTP

AppEntry

Internal Office Tool

C++

An application that electronically retrieves national entry applications from WIPO for processing in Canada

MS Word

Internal

Microsoft

Word along with VBA coding gives Patent Branch users the ability to create reports with complex automated paragraphs

Intellect

Internal Office Tool

JAVA

The Internal Canadian Patent database search engine is updated electronically daily for our internal search tool. The search application is named Intellect and it has been in use since 2008.

Canadian Patent Database

External Office Tool

JAVA

The External Canadian Patent database search engine is updated electronically daily and is available on our Web site. 

Hardware used to supporting business processes of the Office

Telework support for patent examination and classification activities are provided by a RDP solution where staff remotely connect to a desktop located at headquarters.  A significant proportion of examination done using a laptop VPN solution through which staff remotely connect to the office's network.

Internal databases: coverage, updates, interlinks with external sources

CIPO's internal office TechSource system includes bibliographic data (from 1869-present), text (abstract, claim and description of laid open patent documents from 1978-present) and images of patent documents (from 1869-present).  All these documents are available stored on hard disk technology.  Data for applications open to public inspection and granted patents is extracted from the TechSource database and published onto CIPO's searchable online Canadian Patent Database (CPD).

Establishment and maintenance of electronic search file: file building, updating, storage, documents from other offices included in the search file

Patent Branch examiners continue to populate a database of ‘search records’ for every office action.  The tools developed allow the examiners to create, update, store and retrieve information on the search activities.  This information includes data on family members, applicant submissions, databases and search queries used.  The database is populated via an interface built into MS Excel.  The examiner can add new tabs to each record with subsequent office actions, eventually building a complete history of the search over the prosecution life of the application.  The files are stored in the database, but are also exported into the Notations field of the Line of Business (LOB) application within TechSource ( and written to a MS Word document and added as an annex to any examiner’s report.  A similar system exists for International applications.  The search record is a benefit to internal and external stakeholders and serves as a foundational tool for quality assessment. 

While not fully integrated with ePCT applicants can create an international application, for later filing at CIPO, using ePCT.

Administrative management electronic systems (register, legal status, statistics, and administrative support)

All Canadian Patents/applications are managed within our custom built TechSource system.

Other matters

V. PROMOTION ACTIVITIES AIMED TO SUPPORT USERS IN ACCESS AND EFFICIENT USE OF PATENT INFORMATION

Patent library: equipment, collection management, network of patent libraries in the country, cooperation with foreign patent libraries

CIPO provides prosecution documentation in the WIPO CASE system on a per request basis with full participation in the near future.

Canada shares weekly patent data with 20 patent offices and just under 15 commercial clients for integration in various search databases.

Publications related to different business procedures and patent information sources available to users, for example, books, brochures, Internet publications, etc.

The CIPO Resource Centre provides non-patent literature research and reference services.  It enables employees to access world-class external information sources via its many e-resources.  The centre continues to enhance its virtual collection and provide training to ensure employees effectively access the electronic information sources from their desktops.  The centre serves as the central point for information procurement within CIPO.  Its services also include webinars, specialized wikis and e-books.

The CIPO Client Service Centre and the CIPO web site provide information and a guide to patents to assist users. CIPO also has an outreach program.

CIPO Website: Intellectual Property (IP) Case Studies
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr01946.html

CIPO Website: The Patent Application Process
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr02999.html

CIPO Website: Prepare your Application (Patent):
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr03652.html?Open&wt_src=cipo-patent-main&wt_cxt=apply#preparingPatentApplication

CIPO Website: Tutorial - Your Patent Application:
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr01398.html

CIPO Website: Writing a patent application:
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr01398.html

CIPO Website: Filing Canadian patent applications (e-filing):
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/wr01477.html

CIPO Website: Manual of Patent Office Practice:
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr00720.html?Open&wt_src=cipo-patent-main


Office's initiatives on providing foreign patent information in the local language(s) (e.g., machine translation tools, translation of abstracts)

CIPO receives and prosecutes patents in either official language (French or English).  The Office translates all of the patent titles and abstracts so that they are available in both official languages (English and French). The Office does not translate the other sections of a patent (claims, description, drawings, SL).

Cooperation with universities, research centers, technology and innovation support centers, etc.

No significant initiatives to report for 2016

Education and training: training courses, e-learning modules (URLs), seminars, exhibitions, etc.

Maintenance and development of key internal training resources:

  • Updating the CASE user guide.
  • Creation of a Paperless Examination Training document, with tips, tricks and best practices for CIPO’s patent examiners who wish to work electronically, either fully or partially.

Other activities

VI. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD OF PATENT INFORMATION

International exchange and sharing of patent information in machine-readable form, e.g., priority documents, bibliographic data, abstracts, search reports, full text information

IPO provides applications open to public inspection and granted patent documentation on CD-R or via FTP transfer.

The following is a link to CIPO's electronic data products:
www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/bulk

Filings can be made on paper, electronic medium or online (Web).

CIPO has PPH agreements with several countries and retrieves files from their respective public dossier access systems, where available.  Our partner offices can now retrieve most Canadian files directly from the Canadian Patents Database while the rest must be obtained from the applicant.

CIPO shared Canadian industrial designs data for publication in the Global Designs Database (WIPO).

Participation in international or regional activities and projects related to patent information

The Canadian Patent Office participated in a file sharing activity with the Vancouver Group offices for the purposes of a pilot into Quality Audits.  Files were exchanged between the IP Offices using the GOVDEX server.  The examiners review the files, conduct a search and fill out various templates after a review of the application in light of national examination practice.  Upon return to the national office, the original examiner reviews the findings of their VG counterparts and makes a final decision on allowance or report.  

Assistance to developing countries

CIPO has provided, in cooperation with WIPO, the following free patent services to developing countries:

  • Patent search and examination reports for developing countries, upon request from WIPO, under the WIPO programme of International Cooperation in the Search and Examination of Inventions (ICE)  
  • State-of-the-art patent searches under the WIPO Patent Information Searches (WPIS) for developing countries
  • Paper copies of relevant Canadian patent documents identified by WIPO patent searches

*According to this UN document, “World Economic Situation and Prospects 2015” as of 2015 Chile was listed as a developing country. 

Other activities

VII. OTHER RELATED MATTERS


1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.

2. Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.

3. Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.