To pursue patent protection or not? This is an important question no matter the stage or size of your business. For many companies, patents are among their most valuable assets. It is a flexible asset that can be used to accomplish a range of goals, including generating new revenue streams through exclusivity rights or licensing opportunities protection.

In this video, Jennifer Jannuska discusses frequently asked questions about patents as part of our Patent 101 video series.


Hello, my name is Jennifer Jannuska and I am a partner and member of the Intellectual Property Group in Gowling WLG's Toronto office.

The early stages of a business can be a whirlwind – building a team, structuring a company, attracting investment and developing a product – they are all time-consuming tasks. Developing and pursuing a patent strategy early on can play an important role in capturing value at later stages, but it's a confusing process. What are the different types of patents? What are my rights as a patent owner? 

Here are three frequently asked questions that will help Canadian SMEs navigate the world of patenting: 

1. How long does it take to get a patent? Short answer: it depends on the country. In Canada, on average, it takes between 1.5-3 years to get a patent after requesting examination. In the United States, it takes between 1.5-4 years after filing a non-provisional application.

2. How long will my patent last? The patent term in most countries, including Canada and the United States, is 20 years from the date of filing. In some cases, a patent term extension may be available.

3. Is my patent valid in multiple countries? A patent is a territorial right. Each patent covers a distinct jurisdiction. To secure protection for an invention in both Canada and the United States, for example, you need to file separate applications in each country.

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 more 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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