Canadian Intellectual Property Office Increases Fees Effective January 1, 2024

As of January 1, 2024, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) will be increasing most of its fees by 25%. Filing fees, renewal fees, opposition filing fees, as well as fees for initiating summary expungement proceedings and recording trademark assignments will all be raised.

The adjustment does not apply, however, to “small entity” patent fees for Canadian small businesses.The definition of “small entities” will be expanded to include those employing fewer than 100 employees, rather than the previous 50 employee-limit as defined in the Patent Rules.

The exact fees applicable, both prior to and following the effective date, can be found on the CIPO’s website for patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial designs, integrated circuit topographies, and geographical indications and official marks. The official regulations containing the adjustments can also be viewed in Part II of the Canada Gazette.

Rationale for Fee Increase

The CIPO released a statement emphasizing it does not receive annual government funding, but is “fully funded” by revenues generated from service fees. The CIPO indicated it has not substantively adjusted its fees since 2004, and is in a “critical financial position” owing to a number of operational and financial factors, including “almost 30% inflation”. The fee adjustment is purported to support Canada’s Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy, namely to meet growing demands, fulfill trade and treaty obligations, provide internationally comparable services, and address the critical capacity and technological investments needed to improve service provision to CIPO clients.

Looking Forward

Where possible, to avoid the fee increase, IP owners should consider expediting applications for patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyrights. Those with upcoming renewals or contemplated administrative proceedings are encouraged to address such matters before January 1, 2024.

For further information concerning the upcoming fee increase, or for assistance with applications and renewals, please contact any member of our Intellectual Property Group.

The author would like to thank Emily Groper, Articling Student-At-Law, for her assistance in writing this Update.