Patent analytics tool: Patsnap

Meet my new best technology: PatSnap™

I am adding this wonderful search and analysis tool to my high tech pencil case.   My patent searches be more efficient (good for me) and effective (good for everybody).   I can also monitor who is citing whom.  And whom they are.   I have eyes in the back of my head!

And I now have a business partner in London, which is pretty cool and makes me feel all global!  Nothing nicer than a call from London in the morning.screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-12-37-19-pm

Gads, but they get up early over there.



Intellectual Property – When does Competition Bureau Step In? (Canada)

On March 31st, the Competition Bureau of Canada published guidelines on the intricate dance of the various Acts governing intellectual property and unfair competition.  It is not a bad read at all, as it provides succinct definitions of intellectual property types (which I will no doubt use for inspiration when explaining things to my clients – they are that good), as well as 9 examples of unfair practices  in which the Competition Bureau would be called to intervene.

Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines

Some of the examples are:

  • Price fixing
  • Exclusive Contracts
  • A Patent Pooling Arrangement
  • Refusal to License Intellectual Property
  • Representations Made in the Context of Asserting Patents
  • Reneging on a Licensing Commitment
  • Seeking an Injunction after Making a Licensing Commitment

Enjoy the read.  As always, the proof is in the pudding, or more accurately, in the implementation of these new Guidelines.

Trademark and Patent Agent Exams in Canada -Rates

I wanted to share some research on pass rates for the TM and Patent Bar exams in Canada.


It should be noted that one has to qualify to write both the Patent Agent and Trademark Agent qualifying exams, and even accredited lawyers need to go through these exams.  I used to whine 😯 about how hard they were, but we’re on the front line and it takes a lot of training to fight for the rights of noble innovators and trademark holders!

(Fair Use, don’t you agree? – apologies to the talented Bill Murray in STRIPES)

and we can feel pretty proud of our skills, and in most cases, persistence, when we pass these exams.


Table 1. Canadian Patent Agent  Qualifying Exam passed/wrote in Numbers (sourced from Patent Agent Qualifying Examination Report)

Year Wrote Paper A

(patent application)

Wrote Paper B


Wrote Paper C

(Respond to Requisition)

Wrote Paper D


Pass/Wrote overall
2012 174 186 97 142 17/231
2013 170 174 186 149 28/218
2014 156 141 62 119 40/196


Table 2. Canadian Trademark Agent Qualifying Exams Passed/Wrote*

Year Pass Rate
2013 18/67
2012 4/45

 *data kindly provided by CIPOexams as these are not published

Canadian Patent Practice – Medical Diagnostic Claiming

The Canadian Patent Office has issued another practice notice for practitioners in the pharmaceutical patent field!

Click Here for the Link to the Notice

It is actually quite a good read, patiently walking the reader through the logic of “Data Acquisition” and “Data Analysis” type claims. Examples are provided, which help me feel the concepts in my pilates-hardened inner core.

Where a physical step is an essential element, the claimed subject-matter should satisfy the fickle Section 2 of the Canadian Patent Act. There is more of a challenge with data analysis, as one needs to ensure that the claims incorporate physical steps and not mere mental processes.

Arg!  Why do my experiments NEVER WORK????

Arg! Why do my experiments NEVER WORK????

The TMs, they are a changing’….

I sat in on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) webinar yesterday to hear about what would be different when our trade-mark laws and regulations were updated in compliance with all of our Treaties.

The most heart-warming change is that we can now write “trademarks” as one word, and still call ourselves Canadian.   I feel emotional just thinking about this.  I AM NOT KIDDING! 😀

Less simple, we will (when the changes are brought into law), have an easier time obtaining a filing date for our trademarks. Additionally, for a proposed use mark, there appears to no longer be a requirement for filing evidence of use when the mark is approved! 🙄

One of the attendees asked a good question:  will CIPO add more staff to the Oppositions section to accommodate the eventual increase in oppositions (in light of the fact that some of the requirements for establishing a registered trademark are being waived).

They didn’t have an answer ready, but I’m pretty sure I heard a pencil scratching out a note at the CIPO end of the phone line. 😳