Most major countries in the world, including the USA and China, require innovators to secure a “foreign filing license” before they can seek patent protection in a foreign country. Canada has no such regime, but perhaps it's time.
This paper uses publicly available filing statistics and a professional survey in an attempt to gather empirical data on the work done by Canadian Patent Agents in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) versus the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
Canadians demonstrate excellence at many things. There are the obvious clichés like maple syrup, hockey, politeness and modesty. However, our excellence at politeness hides some of our other impressive strengths, like innovation and technology. In turn, our modesty seems to keep Canadians from protecting their intellectual property (IP) at rates disproportionate to our OECD counterparts. I have been working in the intellectual property field for nearly twenty years and can share many anecdotes of Canadian companies that are world innovation leaders who, because of that charming modesty, essentially give away their intellectual property.