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is becoming an important role for an academic institution. Furthermore this provides tangible examples of local economic development, and a return to the taxpayer on its investment in academic research.

1.3 What is the Benefit to Me, the Inventor(s), if my Invention is Commercialized?

The Inventor(s) will not only enjoy royalty revenues, but will receive satisfaction from knowing that their invention has benefited the public at large, and has contributed to the economic development of the region and the Institute.

  • 2.


    • 2.1

      What is a Patent?

First and foremost a patent is a legal document, developed for commercial purposes. A patent is granted by the government of a country (after application, disclosure and review) that gives the owner the right to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention for a limited period of time. This requires complete disclosure of an invention, initially on a confidential basis to the patent office, which later is published as a public document. In Canada, and most other countries, a patent provides protection for 20 years from the original date of application.

A provisional patent may be filed first, as it allows the researcher to get immediate protection over the invention disclosed in the provisional application. A full application must be filed within a year of filing the provisional. Your technology transfer or business development office will advise you on the best course of action.

2.2 What is Patentable?

Products, processes, machines, manufactures or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement of these, such as new uses of known compounds, are patentable. However, scientific theorems or principles, and methods of doing business are not patentable. Software can be patented if it can meet the three criteria listed below, however, it is difficult to meet the novelty requirement and software patents are not very common. An invention must be shown to have three major features to be considered patentable;

The Invention must be novel; The Invention must have utility; and The Invention must not be obvious (to a person skilled in the field)

For most inventions, the third criterion can be the most difficult. For academic researchers, novelty (as defined by the patent office) can be the most difficult, as

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