Canada Intellectual Property Office

The Canada Intellectual Property Office, commonly abbreviated to CIPO, is the trademark, patent and copyright administrative body of Canada. It is a Special Operating Agency (SOA) associated with Industry Canada and was developed to process, monitor and enforce intellectual property standards within Canada. Trademark owners seeking registration in Canada must be aware of the responsibilities, scope and requirements of CIPO, as this will ensure they meet necessary standards and their application for registration is thus approved.

The scope and responsibilities of CIPO

The Canada Intellectual Property Office has several main areas of responsibility, which include:

  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • Industrial designs
  • Integrated circuit topographies
  • Plant breeders rights

The principle aim of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office is to process applications of intellectual property (IP) rights in Canada, while developing and implementing the country’s capacity for innovation, quality and protection of IP rights. Responsible for reviewing and approving (or rejecting) trademark registration applications, CIPO aims to maintain a high level of intellectual property standards throughout Canada by ensuring all marks meet certain criterion.

The mission of CIPO is to ‘accelerate Canada’s economic development’. This is achieved through administering, enforcing and continuously developing the intellectual property systems with reference to trademarks, copyrights, patents, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies.

Concerning trademark registration, CIPO will register a mark that complies with all necessary trademark laws and CIPO requirements. The registry has the authority to register IP rights in Canada, which provides the owner with legal protection and a set of exclusive rights over ownership and usage of the mark within the boundaries of the country. Any unauthorized use of the registered Canada trademark will thereby be handled in court and an appropriate remedy sought by the registered trademark owner.