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Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents

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Content of the Database

The complete Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents collection comprises approximately 1,250 Decisions rendered by the Commissioner of Patents since 1970 on issues raised during the examination of patent applications. This collection is divided into two categories: public and non-public Decisions.

Public Decisions, included in this database, are those Decisions related to applications which belong to one of the following groups:

a) applications filed prior to October 1, 1989, which became available to the public through:

  • grant of a patent;
  • appeal to the Federal Court of Canada; or
  • authorization given by the applicant.

b) applications filed after October 1, 1989, regardless of whether or not a patent was issued.

Non-public Decisions relate to applications filed prior to October 1, 1989, which did not issue to patent, and for which there was neither a filing of an appeal to the courts nor authorization given by the applicant to make the Decision public.

This database provides access to the bilingual public Decision of the Commissioner of Patents.  There are a number of public Decisions which are not included in this database because they are not available in a bilingual format. These Decisions, however, delivered between 1978 and 1985, pertain to applications for which the sole grounds for rejection under review was obviousness, and therefore they are considered to be of limited use in understanding CIPO's policies related to patent application regulations and procedures. Copies of these public unilingual Decisions are available through the Client Service Centre or you may order online.

Once a new Decision of the Commissioner of Patents is made available, an applicant has a period of six months to appeal the Decision to the Federal Court of Canada. Once this period has expired without a procedure for an appeal having been made, the application may become a Patent according to the conditions prescribed by the Decision of the Commissioner of Patents in the case of an acceptance. In the case of a refusal, the application will become abandoned. However, if there is an appeal, the outcome of the application will be according to the Decision of the highest Court to have heard the last appeal, whether it is the Federal Court of Canada (Trial Division), the Federal Court of Canada (Appeal Division), or the Supreme Court of Canada.

This database contains Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents in text and image format as well as bibliographic data. Searches may be performed using the following criteria: topics, text (in English, French or both), Decision of the Commissioner of Patents number, application number, patent number, International Patent Classification (IPC), Canadian Patent Classification (CPC) and date (See Search Criteria below). A "hit list" of matching Decisions is returned. Images are not searchable but can be viewed for any particular Decision that has been returned in a hit list.


Currency of Information (Updates)

The information for new Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents will normally be available on this site within one week of the Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents being made public.


Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents

Once a patent examiner, in examining an application, concludes that the dialogue of reports and replies between the applicant and himself has reached an impasse, a document called a Final Action is written. This document describes the position of the applicant, the position of the examiner and the differences between the two.

It is this document, once transmitted to the Patent Appeal Board (PAB) after the time limit to respond to the Final Action (either by amending the application or arguing the grounds for objections) has passed, which starts the process leading to a Decision of the Commissioner of Patents.

The PAB, an administrative tribunal composed of two to three members, reviews the Final Action and all pertinent evidence. If requested by the applicant, an oral hearing will also be convened. The PAB, after hearing the parties, provides a recommendation to the Commissioner of Patents.

After reviewing the findings, the Commissioner makes a Decision which includes a brief statement describing the reasons for the Decision based on the recommendation of the PAB. If the examiner's position is upheld, the applicant will be informed of the reasons and given an opportunity to amend the application for compliance with the Patent Act or Patent Rules, if possible. If it is determined that the examiner's rejection was not justified, the application will be returned to the examiner for further prosecution. An applicant may appeal a Decision of the Commissioner of Patents to the Federal Court of Canada.


Image of Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents Document

Each Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents document is digitally scanned to produce an image of the Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents in legal size paper format comprising:

  • Cover page - This page contains the Decision of the Commissioner of Patents reference number, the topics considered in the Decision and the application number.
  • Decision of the Commissioner of Patents summary - The summary describes the content of the application and the arguments motivating the Decision.
  • First page of Decision of the Commissioner of Patents - The final position of the Patent Examiner is described, followed by an introduction to the actual text of the Decision and the Patent Appeal Board's (PAB) recommendation.
  • Text of the Decision of the Commissioner of Patents - A description of the claims or the issues under consideration, the different positions of the applicant and the examiner, the recommendation of the PAB and the signature of its members. After this is the position of the Commissioner regarding the recommendation made by the PAB and finally, the Decision of the Commissioner of Patents and orders.

Images are not searchable but can be viewed for any particular Decision that has been returned in a hit list. You can see non textual components such as formulae and drawings.

When viewing a Decision of the Commissioner of Patents image, a new browser window will open.


Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents Classifications

A Decision of the Commissioner of Patents will have the same classification as the related patent or application. Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents based on patent documents filed prior to October 1, 1989, are classified according to the Canadian Patent Classification (CPC) system. Decisions based on patent documents filed on or after October 1, 1989, are classified according to the International Patent Classification (IPC) system. The latest versions can be consulted on the WIPO Web site.


Search Criteria

Presently, the database lets you search for Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents by:

Topics

The Decisions are classified according to the different issues or topics that are addressed in the Decision of the Commissioner of Patents. There are many topics, and Decisions may be classified under more than one.

This is the list of topics and the related code.

  • A APPLICATION FOR PATENT
    • A00 Amendment to
      • A11 New Matter
      • A12 Supplementary Disclosure
    • A20 Double Patenting
    • A40 Filing Date of
    • A50 Final Action Practice
    • A70 Section 43 or Swearing Back of Previous Patent
    • A74 Rule 40: Available Information not Supplied
    • A75 Rule 44(3): Bona Fide Response
    • A80 Section 40: Model
    • A85 Section 63
  • B CLAIMS
    • B00 Ambiguity or Indefiniteness (incomplete)
    • B20 Excessive Width
      • B21 Functionality (means claims)
      • B22 Not Supported by Disclosure
    • B60 Rule 43: Inventive Difference or Redundany
  • C DISCLOSURE
    • C00 Adequacy or Deficiency of Description
      • C01 Failure to Fulfill Promise (e.g. erroneous theory)
  • D DIVISION
    • D00 Division
      • D01 Practice
      • D02 Status
  • E CONFLICT
    • E00 Conflict
      • E01 Practice
    • E20 Patentability
      • E21 of conflict claims at s.s. 45(4) stage
      • E22 obviousness
      • E25 of non-conflict claims
  • F NOVELTY
    • F00 Novelty
      • F01 Anticipation
    • F10 Common General Knowledge
    • F20 Matters Negating Novelty (e.g. documents, use)
  • G UTILITY
    • G00 Utility
  • H AGGREGATION OR COMBINATION
    • H00 Aggregation
    • H20 Combination (exhausted) or Sub-combination
  • J SUBJECT MATTER (PART 1)
    • J00 Meaning of Art
    • J10 Computer Programs
    • J20 Design or Ornamental Effect
    • J30 Games
    • J40 Mental Steps
    • J50 Mere Plan
    • J60 Printed Matter
    • J70 Process or Method Claims
    • J80 Professional or Artistic Skill
  • K SUBJECT MATTER (PART 2)
    • K00 Feeding Animals
    • K10 Living Things (Animals, plants, seeds, sperm)
      • K11 Treatment of
      • K12 Diagnostic Methods or Pathological Tests
    • K20 Medicine
    • K30 Microbiological Transformations (vaccines)
  • L REISSUE
    • L00 Application for Reissue (SEE SUB-TOPICS)
      • L01 Division
      • L02 Amendment of Petition
      • L03 Matter Added
      • L04 Commissioner's Duty or Authority
    • L20 Original Patent Claims
    • L30 Grounds or Reasons (SEE SUB-TOPICS)
      • L31 Defective
      • L32 Inoperative
      • L33 Insufficient description
      • L34 Insufficient specification
      • L35 Claiming more
      • L36 Claiming less
      • L37 Claims broader
      • L38 Claims narrower
    • L40 Invention same
      • L41 Different limitations
    • L50 Error, Inadvertence, Accident or Mistake
      • L51 Intention to claim
      • L52 Reasserted cancelled matter
      • L53 Intention fraudulent or deceptive
      • L54 Patent Agent
    • L60 Subsection 50(2)
    • L70 Subsection 50(3)
    • L80 Rule 81
  • M MISCELLANEOUS
    • M00 Time Limit to Restore an Application
  • O OBVIOUSNESS
    • O00 Obviousness

Search Text

The complete text of the Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents can be searched by using the "Search Text" feature. Any notes related to Decisions are also searched at the same time.

Language

Both the English version and the French version can be searched independently or together. Furthermore, the Commissioner's notes, which may contain information such as appeals to the Federal Court of Canada (Trial Division), the Federal Court of Canada (Appeal Division), or the Supreme Court of Canada regarding certain Decisions, will be searched regardless of the language pre-selected for the search.

Decision of the Commissioner of Patents Number

A search can be made by entering the Decision of the Commissioner of Patents number and activating the "Search" button.

Application Number

On October 1, 1989, a new Patent Act came into effect. For applications which were originally filed before October 1, 1989,  the patent number and the application number are different. In this case, the detailed document will display the application number distinctly. For applications filed on or after October 1, 1989, the application number will be 2,000,000 or greater and, if granted, the patent number will be the same.

Patent Number

Prior to October 1, 1989, the application and the patent have different numbers. For an application filed on or after October 1, 1989, the number assigned for the application and the patent is identical.

International Patent Classification (IPC)

The classification system used by the international community to classify inventions by type. It has been used in Canada since August 15, 1978. Each application is assigned a main (primary) classification and can also be assigned multiple secondary classifications. The classification will be in the format:

A##A ###/##
e.g. A61K 37/04
A is the section
A61 is the class
A61K is the subclass
A61K 37 is the group
A61K 37/04 is the subgroup

Canadian Patent Classification (CPC)

The classification system used by Canada prior to October 1989 to classify inventions.  Each application is assigned a main (primary) classification and can also be assigned multiple secondary classifications. The classification will be in the format:

###/###.###
e.g. 20/230
20 is the class
230 is the subclass

Date Search

You can search the database for a specific date or a range of dates corresponding to the date a Decision of the Commissioner of Patents was rendered.


Related Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents

In a small number of cases, a single Decision was rendered regarding two or more applications by the same applicant in which the grounds for objection were the same. In these cases, the details page of a Decision will indicate the other Decision(s) with which the particular Decision is grouped.


Decision of the Commissioner of Patents Text

You can see the text of the Decision of the Commissioner of Patents (read only).


Display Options

From the search results screen, you can view Decision of the Commissioner of Patents details by clicking on the Decision number. The details page includes bibliographic information and text of the Decision. From the details page you can view the images by clicking on the "View Images" button.


Site Availability

The site and the network have windows of planned general maintenance activities from Saturday at 6:00 p.m. to Sunday at 4:00 p.m. EST. During this period of time there may be disruptions to the image database or to the site.

Database maintenance is performed each Saturday between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. EST. During this period of time images might not be available.