The early stages of a business can be a whirlwind - building the team, structuring the company, attracting investment and developing the product are time-consuming tasks. Amid these essential activities, patenting sometimes takes a back seat. Developing and pursuing a patent strategy early on can play an important role in capturing value at later stages.

In this video, Anthony Dearden discusses the top three things Canadian SMEs need to know about patents as part of our Patent 101 video series.


Hello, my name is Anthony Dearden and I am a Canadian, European and UK Patent Agent practising in Gowling WLG's Vancouver office.

Patent protection is a legal tool that your business can use to secure and commercialize its inventions. Filling a patent application can prevent competitors from copying your products and services, which, in turn, gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Here are three things Canadian SMEs should know about patents:

1. You can only patent an invention that is new, useful and inventive. For, example, you cannot patent: disembodied ideas, scientific principles and abstract theorems, methods of medical treatment or surgery, features of solely intellectual or aesthetic significance or printed matter.

2. Almost every country around the world, including Canada, grants patents on a "first-to-file" basis, not "first-to-invent". This means that the patent will go to whoever files the patent application first. In this competitive market, it's critical to act quickly to protect your IP. 

3. A patent is a territorial right, and each patent covers a distinct jurisdiction. For example, to secure protection for an invention in both Canada and the United States, you need to file separate applications in each country. There are different foreign filing routes and ways to save or defer costs. 

Our Intellectual Property Group has prepared a Patent Toolkit to help Canadian SMEs understand why, when and how to protect their inventions. The Patent Toolkit covers the basics to help you get started, provides a guide to the patent process, answers frequently asked questions and outlines the information you need to optimize the patent process.

To learn more about how we can help you realize the full value of your invention, visit and download the Patent Toolkit today. 

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