A patent is the granting of the exclusive rights to the inventor to make, use, or sell an invention for up to 20 years. A patent application must be filed for the country in which the inventor wishes to protect their invention, meaning a patent given in Canada will not apply to other countries unless those rights are applied for separately.
The inventor who holds the pattern may also sell or license the patent to another organization.
A patent family is a grouping of applications that cover the same technical content, each granting agency may have different categorizations of patent families. You will need to review the patent family definitions in each database.
When starting your business, it can be difficult to decide when to apply for a patent. It is always wise to file an application sooner rather than later in case you are scooped by someone else! Please consult a patent lawyer if you are considering this route. You will also need to conduct a patent search if you haven't already. The tools on this page can help you with the process and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out.
For more information visit the Government of Canada's guide to patents.
A trademark is a sign or combination of signs used or proposed to be used by a person to distinguish their goods or services from those of others.
For more information visit the Government of Canada Guide on Trademarks.
Remember to consult the Canadian Trademarks Database before you get too far into your start-up process. Be sure to also check business registries and chamber of commerce to make sure your venture name isn't already taken.
You can also use trademark searches to populate a list of competitors by changing the search field to "Goods and Services" and keyword searching for various products.